Sharad Purnima is a gathering that is celebrated in the lunar month of Ashwin. This celebration is recollected by a few names like ‘Kumara Purnima’, ‘Kojagiri Purnima’, ‘Navanna Purnima’, or ‘Kaumudi Purnima’. ‘Kumara Purnima’ is celebrated by young girls in Odisha. This is a sort of continuation of the festive fervor of Durga Puja. The celebration starts with the ladies inviting the God Sun exactly at the dawn with a coconut-leaf-made-vessel called Kula renewed with singed paddy followed by Arti.
“Kumara” in Odia means Young Boy and “Purnima” denotes Full Moon. Kumarotsava is one of the greatest celebrations of the year for South Odisha(undivided Ganjam and Koraput locale), having a social criticalness for the district like Raja celebration in Northern Odisha or Nuakhai in Western Odisha. While in the rest of Odisha, Kumarpurnima is restricted to young ladies doing Puja for a decent spouse, in South Odisha it is in a real sense a period for loved one’s social gathering. It is accepted that it is a sort of appealing to God for a good and ideal spouse like Kartikeya (Son of Shiva). Kartikeya was conceived on this day and he is the most gorgeous God in our folklore. This pre-winter celebration is the main celebration in Odisha among Odia young ladies. Kumar Purnima is otherwise called Gaja Laxmi Puja in Odisha.
The Full Moon is one of the fascinations in this celebration and they sit tight for this. In this Puja, there is Morning Puja and Anjulis and Evening Puja, and the ‘chounra’ is worshipped on this day. There are different customs for this puja in various parts of Odisha. Towards the beginning of the day subsequent to bathing, the girls wear new garments and make food contributions to the Sun by playing out the ‘Janhi Osa’ where they offer to the sun god, a palmful of ‘khae’ with ‘janhi’ cucumber, banana, coconut, betel nut with Anjuli. They are supposed to keep a fast for the entire day and worship the moon in the evening. A similar custom is acted at night, however in a different way.
After the morning puja, the girls hang tight for Full moon at night. At the point when it comes out, a Diya, Dhupa (Incense Stick) Jhuna is lighted, Aalati and so on Puja gets done with the sound of Huluhuli and Sankha. The different thing about this puja is the enhancement of Chounra with various shades of blossoms like Rangani and Haragoura. Furthermore, after that, a combination of turmeric and water is made. Turmeric, Duba ghasa, and Barakoli Patra (Berry leaves) are mixed together, and afterward, the girls offer to the moon this water around multiple times in Anjuli. Subsequent to completing the puja, the Prasad is distributed among the neighbors. According to moms and grandmas that a young lady needs to see the “Udila Janha” or the recently risen moon at that point so that the young lady can get a youthful and gorgeous spouse. On the off chance that somebody takes too long to see the moon, she gets an old man for a spouse. ‘Puchi khela’ is a popular Kumara Purnima game. In towns, Puchi rivalries are held in the evening glow.
Individuals in seaside Odisha, particularly Cuttack, follow the Bengali custom of purchasing new garments for Dussehra, yet in Southern Odisha, this custom is spared for Kumar Purnima which comes five days after Vijayadashami. It is accepted that Laxmi walks the roads favoring the blessed ones. It is standard for Elders to offer cash to kids to purchase treats, consequently for most youngsters, it is a much-anticipated celebration. Much the same as Raja in Northern Odisha, during Kumarotsav, in southern Odisha playing a card game (Jua/betting) is a significant custom. Amazing, as betting is generally an ethical no-no in many houses, not to overlook illicit. However, it is important for the merriments on the night of Kumarotsav, as the wonderful moon sparkles in turmeric face in the crisp pre-winter sky, as each road and corner and each family in each town and town, individuals welcome loved ones over and play well-known games. There will be some decent sweet indulgences particularly ‘Kanti pitha’, ‘Kakara’, ‘manda’, and so forth.