Fast, Fair and Festivals of India Fast, Fair and Festivals of India
Celebrated In : The Rural Areas of Orissa
Falls on : Full moon day in the month of Sravana (August)
Also Known as : Go Purnima, Baladeva Puja & Baladeva Jayanti
Deity : Baladeva
Time For The Festivity
The full-moon day in the month of Shravana is known as "Gahma Purnima" or "Go Purnima". In the Hindu tradition even the animals and plants that are beneficial to the human beings are propitiated. The cow is regarded as mother. So, Gahma Purnima is a festival of the agriculturists to worship the cattle.
A Celebration For The Farmers
Bullocks are the most important animals for an agriculturist in India. When ploughing the field with bullocks is over the farmers venerate them for the service they have rendered. Along with the cattle the God of agriculture 'Baladeva' is also worshipped. The religious scriptures testify that 'Balarama' invented the plough and showed the people all methods of agriculture. Therefore, bullock is His vehicle and the plough, His weapon. He has been also taken in as an incarnation of Vishnu in holy scriptures. It is for this reason this festival is also known as "Baladeva Puja" or "Baladeva Jayanti" in some areas.
On this day the cattle shed is cleaned and neatly plastered and sketches of bullocks, bullock carts, ploughs and other agricultural implements are drawn on the walls. Bullocks are bathed and decorated with flowers and sandle-paste. Their horns are oiled. The rituals of worship take place in the cattle-shed itself for which Brahmins are not needed. A piece of new cloth is placed on the back of the bullocks and they are fed with rice-cakes and pulses.