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More Details about Festival - Kartik Snan (Purnima)

Full moon day bath in the river, tank or on a well in the month of Magh (January-February) Baisakh (April-May) and Kartik (October-November) is recognized as more auspicious and especially so if it is in Kurukshetra, Ayodhya or Kasi. Women observe fast, eating meal once a day throughout the month of Kartik till the full moon day of Kartik. The benevolence of the fast and bath lies in the destruction of all sins and their effect. This day is also important because on this day, God Siva killed the demon Tripura. This demon undertook severe austerities for a very long period at Parayag (Allahabad). Gods apprehending his likely gain of power, tried their best to interrupt his asceticism but in vain. Ultimately Brahma was pleased and awarded him a boon that he would not die at the hands of a god or man. Having obtained this boon, he started inflicting atrocities on all and ultimately attacked Siva’s abode Kailasa. Siva gave him fight and ultimately with the help of Brahma and Vishnu killed Tripura on this day, the full moon day of Kartik (October-November).

The Sonepur (Bihar) fair steeped in mythology and folklore, begins on first full moon day of Kartik Purnima after Deewali, and stretches over an entertaining fortnight. It is a fantastic cattle fair perhaps the largest is Asia. Apart from the sale of livestock and grains, there are numerous contests of skill, magic shows and folk performances to draw crowds.

Every year during Kartik Purnima (October-November) a 10-day fair is held in Pushkar (near Ajmer). After bathing, the pilgrims offer Puja at the Brahma temple (the only one in the world). Worship is also done in Savitri temple on the hill, where image of Saraswati exists.

The Baliyatra at Cuttack on the Kartik Purnima day in October-November is a memorable event in Orissa. It is in memory of the traders, who had set sail for the islands of Bali, Java and Sumatra in older days. People go to the river Mahanadi, bath and sail tiny boats of pith and paper, from day break till late in the evening. A huge fair is held on the riverbank in front of the Barabati fort for four days.

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