Sharad Purnima, also known as Kuanr Purnima, is a harvest festival which falls on the first full moon day of the Hindu lunar month Ashvin. This is around September of October on the Gregorian calendar, which is usually the end of monsoon season. This holiday is one of the most famous Purnima’s on the Hindu calendar and is celebrated all over the world. It is believed that on this day, the moon comes out with all of its Kalas. In Hinduism, Kalas are associated with human quality’s and if a human possesses all of the Kalas, then they are a perfect human personality. Lord Krishna is said to have been born with all sixteen Kalas, while Lord Rama was only born with twelve.
Why is Sharad Purnima Celebrated?
According to legend, on this day, the goddess Lakshmi visits homes and then if she finds a person awake, she showers blessings on that person. Which is believed to be the beginning of this holiday. However, there is also another popular story which states that once there was a king who was having horrible financial problems, so his queen began fasting and worshiping Lakshmi to ask for help on his behalf. She stayed up the entire night and by morning, goddess Lakshmi had made the king prosperous again.
How is this Holiday Celebrated?
Sharad Purnima is celebrated all over the world and especially in eastern India. On this night, people stay awake and celebrate with festivals and special pujas which are offered to the goddess Lakshmi. It is believed that on this night, the moon’s rays drip down like honey and can heal the body and the soul. People also make an Indian dish called Rice Kheer that is left out in the moonlight all night long. This dish, made of rice, sugar and cow’s milk, is believed to absorb the rays of the moons and is fortified with it. Family members will then consume it in the morning.