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Kumar Purnima

From Wikipedia:

Kumar Purnima is a special festival in Odisha. This Purnima is celebrated as Sharad Purnima (also known as Kojagiri Purnima, Navanna Purnima or Kaumudi Purnima) is a harvest festival celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin (September–October), marking the end of the monsoon season. It's call as Shard Purnima (ଶରତ ପୂର୍ଣ୍ଣିମା), because it celebrate on the Autumn Season (ଶରତ ଋତୁ).

Laksmi is also associated with crops and food in Orissa on the occasion of the Kaumudi-purnima festival. On these days women invoke Laksmi on a mound of new grain and recall a story in which Laksmi's disappearance results in the disappearance of crops and food and her return prompts the return of abundance.

Sharad Purnima is known as Kumar Purnima in Odisha, an eastern state of India. Kumar Purnima is the full-moon day in the month of Ashvin in October. This autumn festival is one of the most popular and important festivals of Odisha. 'Kumar' or Kartikeya, the handsome son of Shiva started the war against Tarakasur 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 worshiped. People enjoy their holiday wearing the new dress and by playing chess and cards with their family and friends and worshiping the Sun and the Moon gods.

Early in the morning, girls wake up much before the sunrise and wear new garments after the bath and perform puja to the Sun god. The puja is called " janhi osa". They observe fasting for the day. In the evening when the moon rises they again make Puja offerings of a special variety called "Chanda chakata" and have it after the rituals are over. It is a festival of rejoicing for the girls. All of them sing and dance. Many areas of coastal Odisha the unmarried folk wear new clothes. The songs are of special nature like 'Kuanra punei jahna go '.They also play a kind of game known as Puchi khela. They also indulge in other varieties of country-games.On this day the son-in-law is also honoured with gifts.

A delicacy called ‘Chanda chakata’ is made up of ‘khaee’, jaggery, banana, coconut, ginger, sugarcane, talasajja, cucumber, ghee, honey and milk is laid out on a ‘kula’ (winnowing fan) in the shape of a half moon. This 'chanda chkata' is then offered to the moon. Later, it is rolled into fistfuls of balls and partaken of. This tasty delight is also distributed among neighbours.

Lord Jagannath and Krishna are prayed throughout the month of ‘Kartika’ that commences from the day after Kumara Purnima till ‘Rasa’ purnima. A special ‘Habisa dalma’ is prepared using ingredients like moong daal, colocasia, green raw banana, ‘oou’ and ghee, without the usage of turmeric. This dalma is eaten once every day, before dusk and remains a diet staple throughout the month of ‘Kartika’.

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