Narali Purnima occurs in the month of Sharavan according to traditional Hindu calendar. It is the Purnima in the month of Shravan and is considered to be extremely auspicious according to the Hindu religion.
Narali Purnima is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of August according to Gregorian calendar. It is mostly observed in Maharashtra and the coastal areas of Kerala and some parts of Gujarat.
It is mostly an observance by the fisherman community of these regions. It is an observance which is aimed at seeking the blessing of the sea God Varuna to protect them always. In 2019 , this ritual will be observed on 15th of August.
In various other parts of the country this auspicious occasion coincides with Raksha Bandhan, the Kajari Purnima and the Shravani Purnima.
Meaning of the name Narali Purnima
Narali is derived from the word Nariyal, meaning coconut. The Narali Purnima is also known as coconut day for this reason.
Rituals of the Narali Purnima
- Hindu devotees residing at the coastal districts mostly worship Lord varuna on this auspicious occasion.
- A Nariyal or coconut is offered to the sea God Varuna to seek his blessing and protection.
- The entire Shravana month is considered to be beneficial for worshipping Lord Shiva, and coconut is believed to be extremely auspicious for offering to Gods, as the three eyes of coconut is considered to be the three eyes of Lord Shiva.
- If the sea happens to be in a distance, devotees on this day go to a nearby lake, river etc and offer their worship to the Sea God and Mother Nature.
- In Maharashtra, the fishermen worship Samudra, the sea and Varuna, the Rain God for protection and prosperity.
- The upanayana and the change of the holy thread or the Yajnapavit are important observances carried out on this day.
- Brahmins in Maharashtra keep a fast of Shravani Upakarma on this day and only eats coconut.
- After the puja is over, the fishermen sail into the sea with their beautiful and decorated boats for taking a short trip.
- Singing and dancing are the main attractions of this day and everyone makes merry together.
- People prepare a swet rice with coconut which is offered as a prasad and later on consumed. Devoteed mostly have food containing coconut in some form or the other.
Significance of the Narali Purnima
As mentioned earlier Narali Purnima is mostly celebrated in the coastal regions of Maharashtram Gujarat and Kerala. The Konkan district of Maharashtra is famous for its celebrations. It is mostly celebrated by people whose livelihood is intrinsically connected with the sea. It is also the end of monsoon, thus the fishermen pray to the Mother Nature and Sea God to save them from turbulent weather and protect them as the fishing season approaches. The fishermen deck up their boats with colorful garlands and paper cuttings in order to celebrate the festivities and there is a lot of dance, songs and over all merriment. It is also the day from when fishing is resumed, as till this time fishing is not done as in the month of Shravana, fishes are left alone to mate to increase their numbers.