Kartika Purnima – Significance and Rituals
Kartik Purnima is a holy festival for Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities. It’s celebrated on the Purnima (The Full Moon) Day or 15th Day of the month Kartik (Karthika Maasam).
Significance of Kartik Purnima
In some areas Kartik Purnima known as Tripuri Purnima or Tripurari Purnima the name came from Tripurari, Tripura (meaning three cities) and ari (meaning enemy), hence “Enemy of Three Cities” (Lord Shiva). On the day of Kartik Purnima Lord Shiva killed Tripurasura and all demons (asuras) by destructing of their three cities called “Tripura”. They were great cities of prosperity, power and dominance over the world, but due to their impious nature, cities were destroyed in his form as Tripurantaka with a single arrow.
Karthika Purnima is also known as Deva Deepawali or Deva Diwali which means the festival of lights of the gods, by the killing of the demons, gods declared the day as a festival of lights.
Karthika Masam (Month) is the only month in which both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are worshiped and the temples of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu are full with the devotees wanting a darshan of their deities.
” Kartik Poornima is associated with Prabodhini Ekadashi which marks the end of Chaturmas, a four-month period when Lord Vishnu is believed to sleep. Prabodhini Ekadashi signifies the awakening of the god. “
Rituals on Kartika Purnima
Thulsi Pooja and Lighting of lamps
Devotees would visit the temple of Lord Shiva and lit wicks, a pack of 720 or 360. The 720 wicks symbolize the 360 days and nights of the Hindu calendar. Devotees also would light the Diya in front of Tulasi plant at home.
Some devotees would like to light a wick on the floats made from the stems of the Banana Tree and set it a float on the river. Few devotees would also give Deepa Danam or donate a lit Diya.
Karthik Purnima also coincides with the Jain’s light festival and Sikh’s Guru Purab (Jayanthi of Guru Nanak Dev).
Karthik Snan has to perform on Kartik Pournami, i.e., ritual bath at thirtha (a lake or river) at pilgrimage center.