The Sharad Purnima or Kojaagari Purnima or Kumar Purnima is a harvest festival celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin (September–October). It marks the end of monsoon. There is a traditional celebration of the moon and is also called the 'Kaumudi celebration', Kaumudi meaning moonlight.
At night, goddess Lakshmi is worshiped and night vigil is observed. According to a folk-tale, once a king fell on evil days, and was in great financial straits, but then his queen observed this fast and night vigil, and worshiped the goddess of wealth, Laxmi. Consequently, they were blessed by the goddess and they regained their prosperity.
It is also believed that on this day as moon and the earth are very close to each other, the moon rays have certain healing properties of nourishing the body and the soul.
Rituals for Sharad purnima:
- The main ritual is worshiping Lord Krishna, Moon and Maa Laxmi.
- You should keep vigil at night to seek the blessings of Maa Laxmi.
- Prepare Kheer and keep it in moonlight to get the divine essence.
- In Gujarat, people perform Garba, Raas and eat rice flakes with milk.
- Bengalis call it Lokkhi Pujo, they arrange several bhog and worship maa Lakshmi.