Sharad Purnima (also known as Kumara Purnima, Kojagiri Purnima, Navanna Purnima, or Kaumudi Purnima) is a harvest festival celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin (September to October), marking the end of the monsoon season. On this auspicious day, many divine pairs like Radha Krishna, Shiva Parvati, and Lakshmi Narayan are worshipped along with the moon and are offered flowers and kheer (sweet dish made of rice and milk). Deities in temples are usually dressed in white color signifying the brightness of moon. Many people observe full day fasting on this day.
|Sharad Purnima or Kumara Purnima|
|Significance||Arrival of Winters|
|Celebrations||Worshipping, Offering flowers and sweet dishes to deities, Dance (Raas/Garba)|
|Begins||Full Moon Day, Ashvin|
|Date||Ashvin full moon|
|Related to||Lakshmi Narayan,|
This day is celebrated differently in different parts of the country. In Odisha, on this day unmarried women keep fast with the popular belief of getting their suitable groom(kumara). This festival starts with maidens welcoming the sun god just at sunrise with a coconut-leaf-made-vessel called 'kula' filled with fried paddy containing 7 fruits like coconut, banana, cucumber, betel nut, sugar-cane, guava followed by 'Aarti'. In the evening they break their fast by preparing a dish containing the fried paddy of the morning along with the fruits, curd, and jaggery to offer the moon god before the 'tulsi' plant. After this maidens play games and sing songs under the light of the full moon. In many parts of the Gujarat, garba (form of dance) takes place in the presence of moon light.
The Kojagari Purnima concerns the observance of the Kojagara Vrata. People perform this Vrata under the moonlight after fasting for the day. Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of Wealth, is significantly worshipped on this day as it is believed to be her birthday. Lord Indra, the God of Rains, along with his elephant Airavata is also worshipped. It is believed that on the night of Sharad Purnima, the raas (form of dance) of Radha Krishna also takes place along with their gopis. To participate in this divine raas, Lord Shiva has taken the form of Gopeshwar mahadev. Vivid descriptions of this night are given in Brahma Purana, Skanda Purana, and the Linga Purana. It is also believed that, on this full moon night, Goddess Lakshmi descends on the earth to watch the actions of human beings.
- "2013 Hindu Festivals Calendar for Bahula, West Bengal, India". Drikpanchang.com. 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
18 Friday Kojagara Puja, Sharad Purnima, Chandra Grahan
- "2016 Hindu Holidays Celebrated in India, Free Hindu Holidays Celebrated". Pujadatetime.in. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
- "2017 Sharad Purnima date". drikpanchang.com.
- Maharashtra State Gazetteers: Ahmednagar. Director of Government Printing, Stationery and Publications, Maharashtra State. 1976. p. 282.
- "Sharad Purnima 2017: Laxmi Puja or Kojagiri Purnima Date(Tithi), Significance and Bhog Rituals". NDTV.com. 5 October 2017.
but the Laxmi Puja observed on Sharad Purnima is believed to be one of the most significant ones. It is performed on the full moon day in the month of Ashwin in Hindu lunar calendar. Believed to be the birthday of goddess Lakshmi, it is also celebrated as Kunar Purnima or Kojagari Purnima - the harvest festival signifying the end of the monsoon season.