India is a country of rich cultures and various religions. Right from Pongal in January to Christmas in December, we Indians have a lot of festivals to celebrate throughout the year. One of these festivals is Kartik Purnima.
Kartik Purnima is a festival that is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains on the full moon/Purnima day or the fifteenth lunar day of the month of Kartik (November–December). This is the holiest month of the year for the celebrants. In this year, Kartik Purnima falls on 30 November 2020 (Monday).
kartika purnima 2020 Date
|Kartik Poornima||Monday, 30 November 2020||Telangana, Odisha|
Significance of Kartik Purnima
Also known as ‘Tripuri Purnima’ or ‘Tripurari Purnima’, the festival is a celebration of Lord Shiva’s victory over the demon, Tripurasara. This festival is also celebrated in honour of Lord Vishnu. On this day, he had incarnated as Matsya, which is his very first avatar.
The Hindu legend says that on this day, Gods had descended to the earth into the sacred rivers. This is why, during Kartik Purnima, the devotees bathe themselves in sacred rivers, and believe that they receive the blessings of Gods.
The significance of this festival increases when it falls in the Nakshatra Krittika (lunar mansion). This is when it is called Maha Kartik.
Timeline of the festival
Kartik Purnima is a five-day festival. It is on Prabodhani Ekadashi that the main celebration starts. This marks the awakening of the Gods who had descended on the earth. This also marks the end of Chaturmas, which is a four-month period when Lord Vishnu was asleep. Hindus celebrate Ekadashi on the eleventh day of Shukla Paksha and Purnima on the fifteenth day.
Rituals during Kartik Purnima
Devotees follow a lot of customs during this festival. Here is a list of the rituals followed by the celebrants:
- According to the Hindu scriptures, all devotees must bathe in the Ganges or any other holy river on this day.
- People also light diyas/earthen lamps for celebrating the victory of Lord Vishnu. They believe that he had come back to his abode once his exile was over.
- Devotees walk in a procession and carry Lord ‘Shiva’ idols and images. They then immerse them into the water once they worship them.
- At temples, a Prasad called, ‘Annakutta’ is offered to all deities.
- Some devotees also gather around banks of holy rivers at sunrise or moonrise and worship Lord Shiva.
- Devotees then participate in the ‘Bhandara’ and ‘Anna Daan’ rituals. This is done for gaining assets and prosperity throughout the coming year.
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Kartik Purnima among Hindus
In Odisha, devotees celebrate Boita Bandana on Kartik Purnima by heading to a water body and setting afloat miniature boats. These are made from coconut sticks and banana stems and are lit with fabric, lamps, and betel leaves.
As we travel further south to Tamil Nadu, the festival is called, Karthikai Deepam and devotees celebrate the festival by lighting rows of lamps in their houses. In Tiruvannamalai, Hindus hold a ten-day annual festival for celebrating Karthikai Deepam.
In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the holy month is called, Karthika Maasalu. Here, the festival starts on the day of Deepawali/Diwali and goes on right up to the end of the month. During this time, celebrants light lamps every day. Finally, on Karthika Puranam which is the full moon day, oil lamps with 365 wicks are made at home, and these are lit in Lord Shiva temples.
Kartik Purnima among Jains
Jains celebrate the festival by visiting Palitana which is a pilgrimage centre. The devotees gather at the foothills of Shatrunjay hills of Palitana taluka. They then undertake a very auspicious journey. This Shri Shantrunjay Teerth Yatra covers 216 km of rough terrain. This journey is done barefoot and at the top of the hill, the devotees reach the Lord Adinath temple and worship there.
Kartik Purnima among Sikhs
Guru Nanak Jayanti falls on the very same day as Kartik Purnima. Sikhs wake up early on this day and sing hymns/ Asa-di-Var from their scriptures. The priests also recite poems in the Gurudwaras. By afternoon, a special lunch/ Langar is prepared and the celebrants eat together with friends and family.
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