Paush Purnima- A Month of Austerity Period (23rd January 2016)
Purnima tithi begins at 07:30 on 23rd January 2016 and ends at 07:15 on 24th January 2016
Paush Purnima is celebrated on the full-moon day in the month of Paush, which corresponds with the month of December and January of Gregorian calendar. In many places, this day is also celebrated as Shakambari Jayanti in which devotees worship Goddess Shakambari.
Satyanarayan can also be given prime importance on this day. People offer sesame seeds, banana leaves, vermillion, panchamrit, etc., to the Lord. The edible offerings can be later distributed among the devotees in the form of prasadam.
This day also marks the beginning of kalp was in which people observe severe austerity for a month. Devotees leave their comfortable life for a month and live in tents on the banks of Sangam Ghat in Allahabad. They live like hermits and understand the importance of a simple life while meditating and thanking the Supernatural powers for their abundance.
There are various pilgrimage places where people prefer to visit on this day, and those are Nasik, Allahabad, and Ujjain. They also observe fast for the whole day and indulge themselves in charitable activities.
The day is celebrated to gain remission for all the sins of this as well as of the previous births. The burden of all the previous sins is relieved to give the life a new start. The full moon night is believed to strike of darkness both of our lives and souls. Salvation can also be attained by completing all the rituals of the day appropriately.
Celebrations in Other Forms
Charta festival is celebrated on a large scale in Chhattisgarh. People make a dish in which chivda, sesame seeds and jaggery. Children from all the homes get collected together and visit various houses, singing songs and ask for sweet and food. There is a lot of zeal in the celebrations and people dance with excitement.