Kumar Purnima is a popular religious festival observed mainly in the state of Odisha in India. Every year, it falls during the Ashwin month as per the traditional Hindu calendar, which as per the Gregorian calendar falls in month of October. This year in 2017, it will be observed on the 5th of October in India. On this day, all the unmarried boys and girls worship the Moon God, known as Janha Mamu. Kumar Purnima is also known by the name of Kaumudi Puja, since Kaumudi is the other name of the Moon. Traditionally, this day is also known by the names of Sharad Purnima, Kojagara, as well as Kojagiri Purnima.
As per Hindu traditional beliefs, it is said that this day happens to be the only single day in the whole year when the moon comes out with all of its 16 kalas. Devotees make kheer made out of cow’s milk, rice, and sugar, which they keep under the moonlight for the night and have it the next morning.
This day is celebrated with a lot of zeal and joy in the popular Jagannath Temple, situated in Puri in the state of Odisha. On this day, priests in two different groups play the game of dice, on behalf of Lord Jagannath himself and Goddess Laxmi, and they continue to play it till they feel that both Lord Jagannath and Goddess Laxmi are satisfied.
On this day, thus, alongside the moon god, Goddess Laxmi too is worshipped. In Hindu religion, Goddess Laxmi is known as the Goddess of wealth as well as prosperity. In some regions of the state of Odisha, on the day of Kumar Purnima, alongside Laxmi Puja, Indra Puja too takes place. Thus, the prashad that is offered to the moon god, is also offered to Goddess Laxmi and Lord Indra, after which the devotees distribute it among their family and friends as they celebrate the religious festival.
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