SharadPurnima 7th Oct 2014
The SharadPurnima is a harvest festival celebrated throughout India on the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin (Asosud 15 ). This full moon comes during Sharad ritu (season ) of the year and hence it is called SharadPurnima or SharadPoonam. (Purnima or Poonam = full moon).It marks the end of monsoon.
It is also believed that on this day as moon and the earth are very close to each other, the moon rays have certain healing properties of nourishing the body and the soul.
Some people believe that on this night Laxmi goes around from place to place and shows her pleasure on those she finds awake. Hence, the night is spent in festivity and various games of amusement, in honour of the goddess. So people sit in the moonlight singing songs, or keep themselves entertained in some other way. There is also a tradition to have cool milk and rice flakes on this night.
This year, SharadPoonam was celebrated on 7th October 2014. Hundreds of devotees gathered at Swamibapa Temple in Parklands and rejoiced this day with wit and delight. After the eveningniyams, everyone took part in raas to please Lord Swaminarayan. A band of musicians sang kirtans and provided entertaining soul soothing music as the devotees danced and performed raas.
At the end of the celebrations, doodhpawa, sweetened milk with flattened rice soaked in it,was offered to the Lord and then distributed as Prasad. The lavish dinner also included fries, paubhaji, hotchpotch and sambhar.