Kartika Purnima will be celebrated on 29 October 2023 (Sunday), the full moon day of the Hindu month of Kartik. Tithi Time: October 29, 4:16 pm – October 30, 4:32 pm.
On this auspicious day, just at daybreak, men, women, and children across Odisha head for the nearest water body to set afloat toy boats with lamps, betel leaves, crackers fruits, and coins.
Celebrations and rituals commence with devotees taking a ritual bath at a pilgrimage center specified on Kartika Purnima. This holy bath is known as “Kartik Snana”. For Odias, it’s an age-old tradition of sailing boats in water bodies on the day of Kartika Purnima. People of our state celebrate the festival with pomp and gaiety as it is believed that our ancestors used to take boats to Indonesia to bring items for the state. To mark the day, we set afloat miniature boats.
From ancient times, people used to make boats cutting banana tree stems. However, nowadays, there are fancy boats made from color papers, thermo cool painted with eye-catching colors available in the market. When a few devotees like to buy fancy, eye-catching boats from the market, still there are people who never go for fancy boats and make traditional banana stem boats and sail on Kartika Purnima.
Known as the Boita Bandana or Boat Festival, this is supposed to be a mass commemoration of the maritime glory of the people of Odisha, which was known as Kalinga in ancient times. But some believe the tradition is meant to offer prayers to the ancestors.
The full moon day or 15th day of the Shukla Paksha (waxing moon) of the Kartika month is considered Kartika Purnima.
During this month all the pious Hindus refrain from eating fish, meat, and egg. All of them take a 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’ and the last day is the “Kartika Purnima”.