Paush Purnima is observed on full moon day of the Hindu lunar month. It is an auspicious day for Hindu devotees and lakhs of them take tip in sacred river of Ganga and Yamuna on this day. This festival is celebrated in different styles in different parts of India. This post explains in detail about the history of the festival and the way of celebration of the festival in different parts of India.
Paush Purnima or Shakambari Jayanti
Paush Purnima is also celebrated as Shakambari Jayanti or Shakambari Purnima. Shakambari jayanti refers to the incarnation of goddess Durga. There is an old mythological story regarding this. According to the story, there was drought for hundred years and as result there were no crops. People suffered a lot without rainfall. Both plant and human species started dying. As a result, the saints and sages started worshipping goddess Durga and then she incarnated as Shakambari. She caused rain bringing an end to the drought. Thereafter, her incarnation is celebrated as Shakambari Jayanti everyday on the day of Paush Purnima. In some places of India, Shakambari navratri of 9 days is also observed.
Paush Purnima Rituals
On the day of Paush Purnima thousands of devotees gather at places like Allahabad, Nasik, Ujjain and Haridwar. They take dip in holy water of rivers like Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. It is believed that by doing this, one gets rid of all the sins and attains moksha. The bathing practice that starts on this day ends on Magh Purnima. People perform various religious practices in front of sun. Doing charity for the poor on this day has special importance. It is believed that the charity done on this day returns back manifolds. Again, there is huge rush of devotees inside temple on this day. In addition to goddess Durga, Lord Satyanarayana, Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma and goddess Laxmi are also worshipped.
In Chhattisgarh, this festival is celebrated as Charta Festival. On this day, small children of the villages collect rice from every household. Then, the married women cook this rice near the local water body. Satyanarayana katha is also performed on this day in almost every household. People distribute desserts to friends. Various dances are also performed on folk songs on this day by both men and women. Thus, the Charta festival is actually celebrated as the harvest festival of Chhattisgarh. In eastern states of India, married women pray for the better health of their family members.
Paush Purnima Importance
Paush Purnima marks the beginning of Magh Snan. It is believed that by taking bath in Holy River on this day, all the wishes come true. Moreover, the religious rituals performed on this day are believed to bring lot of prosperity in the life of performer. Kalpwas also starts from the day of Paush Purnima.