Kojagari Purnima 2018: India is a land of festivals, and this is that time of the year when the country celebrates one festival or the other every day. While Navratri and Durga Puja have just got over, people are now geared up for Diwali, which is on 7 November. There are, however, several big and small occasions that Indians celebrate between Dussehra and Diwali. Once such occasion is Kojagari Purnima, also spelt Kojagiri Purnima and known as Sharad Purnima. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on this day in several parts of the country. In West Bengal, Kojagari Lakshmi Puja is celebrated with great enthusiasm. It’s an important festival in Odisha, Assam and Maharashtra too.

Kojagari Lakshmi Puja date and time

This year, Kojagari Lakshmi Puja will be observed on Tuesday, 23 October. The puja usually takes place after moon rise after the Purnima tithi (date) begins. According to pandits, the puja time will be 10:55 pm to 11:46 pm this year, with Purnima tithi beginning at 10:36 pm 23 October and ending at 10:14 pm on 24 October.

Kojagari Lakshmi Puja significance

While most parts of India worship Goddess Lakshmi on the Diwali night during Amavasya (new moon) tithi, the eastern states of West Bengal, Odisha and Assam observe Lakshmi Puja on the full moon day in the lunar month of Ashwin. Kojagari Purnima is popular as Sharad Purnima in other parts of India.

Kojagari Purnima is also known as Kumar Purnima, which is a harvest festival marking the end of monsoon.

The moon and the Earth, it is said, come very close to each other on this day.

In most of the Bengali households, women keep a fast on Kojagori Purnima, cook bhog for Goddess Lakshmi and worship Her. Making beautiful ‘alpana’ (rangoli) and drawing Lakshmi footprints using rice paste form an integral part of the puja. Educational institutes and office establishments observe a holiday on this day.

Odisha celebrates Kumara Purnima on this day when unmarried girls worship Lord Kartikeya praying for a handsome husband like him. They keep a fast throughout the day. In the evening, they offer food and prayers to the moon. It is said Lord Kumar Kartikeya, son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, was born on this day, and Odisha marks it as Kumarotsav.

In Maharashtra, devotees offer prayers to Goddess Lakshmi and observe fast for the entire day. It is believed the Goddess visits houses at night and blesses those who She finds awake. Hence, many people sing devotional songs through the night to keep themselves awake. To welcome the Goddess, they also decorate their houses with lights and rangolis. After the puja is over, there is a tradition of drinking a cold ‘masala dudh’ prepared by adding a lot of dry fruits and some masalas to milk. Kojagari Lakshmi Puja is a big event at the Mahalaxmi temple in Kolhapur.

How Kojagari Lakshmi got this name

It is said the the word ‘kojagari’ or ‘kojagiri’ is derived from the expression, “Ko Jagorti?”, meaning “who is awake?” Descending on the Earth on this day, Goddess Lakshmi is said to go around asking this, and gives Her blessings to people who replies int he affirmative. At many places, people stay awake at night on this day to be able to respond to her call, and get Her blessings.