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Narial Purnima


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Narial Purnima is a festival celebrated all across India by the people for whom the sea is a means of living, particularly the fisherman. On this day, people worship the Sea God 'Varun' and offer him coconut. Hence, the festival is named Nariyal Purnima which stands for coconut full moon.

Primarily, the festival was celebrated on the Western Coastal area, as India's fish trade is concentrated in that area. But gradually, people have started celebrating this festival all across the country. It is very popular in Mumbai, where the Kolis, the fishing tribe celebrates the festival with much gusto. Nariyal Purnima is celebrated on the Full moon day of Shravan (July-August) the same day as Rakhi Purnima or Rakhi .

Narial Purnima Rituals
People believe that the three eyes of a coconut is the representation of Lord Shiva, the three eyed God. Coconut is therefore considered to be auspicious for offering to Gods. A coconut is broken in front of the deities before taking up a new task in hand. Coconut is important for all religious occasions. Thus the coconut is considered appropriate for offering to the Sea God. This practice of drawing with the rice solution on the mud washed floor is called Navami. After this procedure the cup is worshipped.

A New Fishing Season for Fishermen
The festival always falls on the time of retreating monsoons. It is at this time that the skies are clearing and the tides are moving back and the sea is calm. This is a very important festival for coastal people. On this day people offer coconut to Lord Varun to invoke blessings and offer thanks giving.

To all fishermen, this day marks the beginning of a new fishing season. As this day declares the end of monsoon, fishermen decorate their boats, paint it afresh and put flags and once more go out in the sea for fishing. They also carry decorated coconuts to the sea. Dancing and singing together mark the celebration of this day. At the end of the celebrations they worship the Sea God Varun and offer the coconut. The decorated coconuts are thrown in the water with prayers of a a plentiful fish catch.

Beginning of Sowing Season for Farmers
This worshipping of the leaf cups is repeated for seven days till the full moon day. The final ritual of this festival is performed in the evening of the full moon day. On this day the women move out in procession carrying the leaf cups on their heads. They carry these cups to a pond or any other water body and then immerse it there. Women keep a fast on this day and pray for the well-being of their sons.

This festival is very important to the farmers as it stands for the beginning of the sowing season for wheat and barley. on this day they pray to Goddess Bhagwati and seek her blessings for a good crop.


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