Significance of Kumar Purnima and Gajalaxmi Puja
The puja incepts on Kumar Purnima, which is the full-moon day (Sharad Purnima) on the Odia month of Aswina (Sept-Oct).
TNI Bureau: Gracing the festive season, Odisha celebrates Gajalaxmi Puja today where Goddess Laxmi –the Goddess of wealth is worshipped. The puja incepts on Kumar Purnima, which is the full-moon day (Sharad Purnima) on the Odia month of Aswina (Sept-Oct).
Gajalaxmi Puja celebrations in Dhenkanal is almost a century-old tradition. Every year, Goddess Laxmi is worshipped here for 11 days from the day of Kumar Purnima. This is followed by Visarjan Utsav with a huge street carnival.
Kendrapara has also geared up for the GajaLaxmi Puja today.
The first day of Gajalaxmi Puja marks Kumar Purnima.
In this festival, young girls perform traditional rituals praying for a perfect life partner like Kumar or Kartikeya, who is termed as the most handsome among all the Gods.
Morning ritual, ‘Anjula Teka’
The kumaries wake up before sun rise, bathe and get dressed to perform ‘Anjula Teka’ ritual.
The girls wear new clothes and offer a palmful of prasad including ‘Khai’, ‘Janhi’ (striped gourd), cucumber, banana, coconut, betel nut to sun, which is called ‘Anjuli’.
Evening ritual, ‘Chanda Puja’
Evening ritual is almost the same as those performed in morning except ‘Chanda chakata’, which is offered to the moon.
The girls wait for the moon and raise the ‘Chanda chakata’ to the moon. It is believed that if the girls will seefresh moon and offer ‘Chanda Chakata’, they will get a young and attractive husband. They use Khai, Ukhuda, jiggery, sugarcane, banana, Chhena (cottage cheese) and talasaja to prepare the prasad.
The girls lay out the prasad on a plate in the shape of half moon and then offered to the moon.
Coming close at the heels of Durga Puja, Kojagari Lakshmi Puja is one of the most significant festivals celebrated in the eastern part of India, across West Bengal, Assam, and Odisha. Devotees worship Goddess Lakshmi on this day and the puja falls on the full moon day in the lunar month of Ashwin.
Kojagari Lakshmi Puja is more famously known as Sharad Purnima in other parts of India. While Eastern India worships Goddess Lakshmi on this day, most people from other parts worship the Goddess on Amavasya Tithi during Diwali.
It is believed that on the day of Kojagari Lakshmi Puja, Goddess Lakshmi takes around on the Earth’s orbit and relieves her devotees from their woes. Those who remain to awaken on the night of Sharad Purnima are blessed with health and wealth.