This year, Sharad Purnima 2024 falls on October 16th, uniting seasons, harvest festivities, and spiritual devotion, sparking anticipation and joy among devotees.

Sharad Purnima 2024: Date & Significance

Sharad Purnima, also known as Kojagari Purnima, is an enchanting Hindu festival celebrated on the full moon night in the month of Ashwin, typically occurring in September or October. Combining the words "Sharad" (autumn) and "Purnima" (full moon), this festival marks the culmination of the monsoon season and the advent of the harvest season in India.

The festival encompasses diverse customs, rituals and beliefs across different regions of India. It is also referred to as Kojagari Purnima, meaning "who is awake?" in Bengali. This name reflects the belief that Goddess Lakshmi, the bestower of wealth and prosperity, roams the Earth on this auspicious night, fulfilling the wishes of her devotees. To welcome the goddess, people remain awake throughout the night, engaging in melodious devotional songs and lively games. The festival is known as Kumar Purnima in the state of Odisha, where young girls participate in the Kumari Puja ritual. They venerate the divine feminine energy and seek blessings for a prosperous and blissful life. In certain regions, Sharad Purnima is identified as Raas Purnima, signifying the Raas Leela dance performed by Lord Krishna and the gopis (cowherd maidens) in Vrindavan. This celestial dance signifies the celebration of divine love, devotion, and the blissful union of the human soul with the supreme consciousness.

Sharad Purnima 2024 Date

Sharad Purnima 2024 Date

Sharad Purnima is scheduled to be celebrated on Wednesday, 16th October in 2024. The Sharad Purnima date is calculated based on the Hindu lunar calendar, which combines both lunar and solar movements. The lunar calendar determines the date of Sharad Purnima by considering the position of the moon in relation to the Earth and the Sun. It falls on the full moon day (Purnima) in the Hindu month of Ashwin, which typically corresponds to September or October in the Gregorian calendar. Skilled astronomers and scholars perform intricate calculations based on celestial observations and astronomical principles to determine the precise date of Sharad Purnima. Due to the nature of the lunar calendar, the date and time of Sharad Purnima varies each year. It can occur on different days within the months of September and October. The calculations ensure the accurate alignment of the lunar cycles with the solar calendar.

Sharad Purnima Timings

Moonrise on Sharad Purnima Day - 05:06 PM

Significance of Sharad Purnima

Sharad Purnima has a rich history and significance rooted in Hindu mythology and cultural traditions. One of the significant historical events associated with Sharad Purnima is its connection to the legend of Lord Krishna and the Raas Leela. The Raas Leela symbolises the highest form of devotion and the blissful union between the divine and the devotee. Sharad Purnima, being the brightest full moon night of the year, holds a special significance as it is believed to be the night when Lord Krishna performed this celestial dance, captivating the hearts of all who witnessed it.

Sharad Purnima is associated with the story of the Milk Ocean Churning (Samudra Manthan) mentioned in Hindu mythology. It is believed that during this churning, various divine treasures emerged from the ocean, including the elixir of immortality (Amrita). The moon is considered to be the vessel that held this celestial elixir, and on the night of Sharad Purnima, the moon is believed to shower its nectar-like moonlight, symbolising abundance, blessings, and rejuvenation.

The significance of Sharad Purnima also lies in its connection to the agricultural traditions of India. As an agrarian society, the festival marks the end of the monsoon season and the beginning of the harvest season. The festival signifies the importance of nature's cycles, the interplay of seasons, and the reliance on agricultural abundance for sustenance and livelihood.

Significance of placing Kheer under Moonlight

Placing kheer (a traditional Indian rice pudding) under moonlight during Sharad Purnima is a popular tradition rooted in a captivating legend. According to the belief, the moon's rays have a special power to infuse the kheer with their divine essence. It is said that when the moonlight falls on the kheer, it imparts blessings and transforms the humble dessert into an aromatic delicacy, enhancing its taste and making it more auspicious. Devotees place the kheer under the moonlight and leave it overnight, eagerly anticipating the harmonious fusion of the moon's blessings with the sweet offering. This cherished ritual adds a touch of enchantment to the festivities, blending devotion, folklore, and culinary delights under the celestial glow of Sharad Purnima.

Rituals of Sharad Purnima

Observing fasts: People in different regions of India observe fasts on Sharad Purnima, abstaining from food and water until moonrise.

Kheer offering: One of the prominent rituals involves preparing and offering kheer (rice pudding) as a sacred offering to deities.

Panchamrit offering: Panchamrit, a sacred mixture of milk, curd, honey, ghee, and sugar, is prepared and offered to deities as a form of divine offering.

Worship of Goddess Lakshmi: Goddess Lakshmi, the deity of wealth and prosperity, is worshipped with special prayers and offerings.

Raas Leela performances: In various parts of India, vibrant cultural performances like the Raas Leela, depicting Lord Krishna's divine dance, are organized during the time of Sharad Purnima.

Reading scriptures: Many devotees observe strict fasts and spend the day reading Sharad Katha associated with Lord Krishna.

Charity and donations: Sharad Purnima is considered an auspicious time for performing acts of charity, donating to the needy, and helping others.

Community gatherings and cultural events: People come together in community gatherings, organizing cultural events, singing devotional songs, and participating in traditional dances.

Feasting and sharing prasad: After the rituals, devotees partake in a festive meal and share prasad (blessed food) that is distributed among the community.

Sharad Purnima Katha

The Sharad Purnima Katha recounts the divine love story between Lord Krishna and Radha, captivating devotees with its enchanting narrative. On the auspicious occasion of Sharad Purnima, Lord Krishna invites Radha to participate in a celestial dance under the moonlight. With Lord Krishna's melodious flute playing, the atmosphere becomes infused with ethereal music. Radha and the gopis joyfully join the dance, known as the Raas Leela, expressing their devotion and surrender to the divine. This enchanting tale symbolises the deeper spiritual significance of Sharad Purnima. It signifies the longing of the individual soul, represented by Radha, to merge with the divine essence embodied by Lord Krishna. The story serves as an inspiration for devotees to cultivate unwavering devotion, surrender their ego, and seek the eternal love and grace of the divine in their lives. Through the Sharad Purnima Katha, devotees are reminded to celebrate the presence of the divine in their lives and find joy in their spiritual journey. It guides them on the path of devotion and devotional practices such as singing bhajans (devotional songs), chanting mantras, and participating in religious gatherings.

Sharad Purnima epitomises the essence of changing seasons, harvest festivities, and spiritual devotion. As the year transitions to autumn, devotees eagerly await Sharad Purnima 2024, preparing to embrace the occasion with exuberance and deep devotion.