Fast, Fair and Festivals of India Fast, Fair and Festivals of India
Celebrated In : Dhenkanal, Orissa
Also known as : Gaja Lakshmi Puja
Falls on : Aswina Purnima (September-October)
Deity : Lord Kartikeya
Time For The Festivity
Kumar Purnima is the full-moon day in the month of September- October. This autumn festival is one of the most popular and important festival of Orissa. 'Kumar' or 'Kartikeya', the handsome Son of Shiva was born on this day. He also became the 'God of war'. As young girls always wish for a handsome husband, they propitiate Kumar who was most handsome among the Gods. But, peculiarly enough there is no ritual for the God, instead the Sun and the Moon are worshipped.
Main Ritual
In the early morning the girls after their purificatory bath wear new garments and make food-offerings to the Sun. They observe fasting for the day. In the evening when the moon rises they again make food offerings of a special variety and take it after the rituals are over.
It is a festival of rejoicing for the girls. All of them sing and dance. The songs are of special nature. They also play a kind of game known as 'Puchi'. They also indulge in other varieties of country-games
The Gajalaxmi Puja
This day is also observed as the birthday of Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth. Therefore, many people worship the Goddess at their homes and keep themselves awake by playing Pasha (Chess), and other indoor games. Significantly it suggests that those who wish to acquire wealth should always be vigilant at night. It is for this reason the owl, a bird that sleeps in the day and comes out only at night.