In homes, Pujas are performed for special occasions such as anniversaries, graduations, the birth of children, memorial days, or simply for general prosperity and peace within the family. In this case, the family members themselves perform the Puja under the guidance of a priest. Commonly performed Pujas include Ganesha, Satya Narayana, Durga, and Lakshmi Pujas. In fact, a Puja can be performed for any God or Goddess or even a combination of Deities. Perhaps the most important part of a Puja is the final blessing by the priest and the distribution of prashada at the end. The purpose of a Puja is to evoke the presence of a Deity and then to receive the blessing of that Deity. One of the jobs of the priest is to give these blessings. Prashada is the blessed food that has been offered to the Deity during the Puja. This food is then offered to all those who have attended the Puja.Prashada is the blessing of the Deity.
Hinduism is full of many sacred rituals and colorful ceremonies. These include weddings, the naming of children, hair cutting ceremonies and funerals. Collectively, these ceremonies are called samskaras, rites of passage. Pujas always form the basis of Hindu samskaras and during the course of a marriage, for example, many small pujas will be performed. There may be a dozen Pujas contained within the one large marriage ceremony and these Pujas involve the invocation of various Gods and Goddess to bless the couple and even the worship of ancestors, Pitru-Puja, to give blessings to the couple.