Dhanteras also known as the festival of...
Sharad Poornima is also known as Kojaagari Poornima or Kumar Poornima. It is celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin. The brightness of the full moon brings special joy. It is believed that on this day, the Moon through its rays showers amrit or elixir of life on earth. It is also referred to as Rasa Poornima, or Sharath Poornima.
The “Sharad” in Sharad Poornima signifies the “Sharad ritu” (season) of the year. Basically a harvest festival, it also has religious significance. It is believed that on this night Goddess Lakshmi visits from place to place asking Kojagari (meaning “Who is awake”) and bless those who are found awake. Therefore, people don’t sleep this night and spend whole night singing, dancing and remembering god. Another belief is that Goddess Lakshmi was born on Sharad Poornima.
Anyone observing this fast avoids solid foods. Upon completion of the fast, he/she must first taste a mixture of cold milk and rice flakes. The practice of drinking cold milk during this fast has its origins in science. Sharad ritu brings in very hot days and cool nights. During such weather, ‘pitta’ or acidity becomes predominant in our body. Consumption of milk & rice flakes is a good remedy for ‘pitta’ (acidity).
In Gujarat, the festival is known as Sharad Poonam. After Durga puja, this is another important festival celebrated in almost every house in West Bengal. In Orissa, it is celebrated as Kumar Poornima. Kumar or Kartikeya, the handsome son of Shiva, was born on this day. Unmarried girls who wish for a handsome husband worship Kumar, who was the most handsome of the gods. No particular god is worshipped on this day. It’s actually the Sun and Moon that are worshipped.
On Sharad Poornima, girls wake up early, take a bath, wear new garments and offer food to the Sun God. They observe fast throughout the day and in the evening, when the moon rises, they again make special offerings, this time to the moon. They consume this offered food after the rituals are over.
Hindus believe that Lord Krishna began his Raas Leela with Radha and the gopis on the night of Sharad Poornima
It is considered that the Moon and the Earth are at a closer distance on Sharad Poornima night. Due to this, the rays of the moon have several curative properties. Keeping food under the moonlight nourishes both the body and the soul. That is why, Kheer is prepared at kept under moonlight for the whole night and eaten in morning, on the next day.
Happy Sharad Poornima.