Kartik Purnima is a Hindu festival, celebrated on the full moon day or 15th Day of the Shukla Paksha (waxing moon) of the Kartika month. This year in 2013, people celebrate it today on 17th November.
During this month, all the pious Hindus refrain themselves from eating fish, meat and egg. All of them take pre-dawn bath and visit temples as a matter of routine habit. The last five days are considered more sacred, in which there is wide participation of devotees. Taken together the days are called ‘Panchuka’ (a period consisting of five days) and the last day being the “Kartika Purnima”.
This day marks the victory of Lord Shiva over the demons Tripuri. The Kartik Purnima festival also coincides with the Jain light festival and Guru Nanak’s Birthday. Tripuri Purnima is one of the most propitious day for worshipping of Shiva, next only to the Maha Shivaratri.
Another festival that takes place in the “Kartika Purnima” morning is significant to the ancient history of Odisha. This reminds the maritime glory of the State. In olden days the ‘Sadhabas’ (Sea Traders) used to sail off to distant Islands like Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Ceylon etc. for trade by huge boats (Boita). The women of the community were giving them a hearty see off by saying ‘Aa ka Ma Boi’ which symbolizes three Odia months i.e. Aswina, Kartika and Margashira. The days are now gone, but the memory is still alive.