Purnima, the full moon day, is considered auspicious in the Hindus Calendar and most devotees observe fast throughout the day and pray to the presiding deity Lord Vishnu. Only after a whole day of fasting, prayers and a dip in the river do they take light food at dusk.
It is ideal to fast or take light food on full moon and new moon days as it is said to reduce the acidic content in our system, slows down the metabolic rates, increases endurance.
This restores the body and mind balance. Praying too helps in subduing the emotions and controls the outburst of temper.
In 2016, there are 12 Purnimas. Purnima, or Poornima, is the full moon day in traditional Hindu calendar. Here are the Purnima dates in 2016. (Please note that in some regions Purnima might start a day early and overlap into the next day). Poornima is known as Pournami in South India.
23 January (Saturday) Paush Purnima Vrat
22 February (Monday) Magha Purnima Vrat
23 March (Wednesday) Phalguna Purnima Vrat
21 April (Thursday) Chaitra Purnima Vrat
21 May (Saturday) Vaishakha Purnima Vrat
20 June (Monday) Jyeshtha Purnima Vrat
19 July (Tuesday) Ashadha Purnima Vrat
18 August (Thursday) Shravana Purnima Vrat
16 September (Friday) Bhadrapada Purnima Vrat
16 October (Sunday) Ashwin Purnima Vrat
14 November (Monday) Kartik Purnima Vrat
13 December (Tuesday) Margashirsha Purnima Vrat
The following festivals occur on Purnima.
· Kartik Poornima, is celebrated on the full moon day of Kartik of Nepali Calendar. It is also called Tripura Purnima.
· Shravan Poornima, is the full moon day in the month of Shravan. This day has a number of different names. Hayagriva Jayanti is also celebrated on Shravana Purnima. It is also known as Narali Purnima
· Vat Purnima is celebrated on the full moon day of the month of Jyeshta. Women pray for their husbands by tying threads around a banyan tree (Vat) on this day. It honors Savitri, the legendary wife of Satyavan who escaped death for her husband's life. It is the chosen day for worshipping Yama deva.
· Guru Purnima, devotees offer puja (worship) to their Guru, on a full moon day. This is well known as Vyasa Purnima (Sanskrit. व्यास) after the birthday of the celebrated author of Mahabharata who is declared as the guru of all in the Shiva Purana.
· Sharad Purnima or Kojagiri purnima, the Autumn Harvest Festival, on a full moon day.
· Buddha Poornima, the day of birth, enlightenment and passing away of Gautama Buddha, on a full moon day.
· Holi/Phalgun Purnima, the Spring Festival of Colours in Hinduism/Buddhism/Jainism, the full moon day in the month of Phalgun.
· Dattātreya Jayanti is celebrated on the full moon day of the month of Margashira
· Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated on the full mo0n of the lunar month Chaitra. However, this is celebrated on different days in different states. While Orissa celebrates this as Vaisakha Sankranti, Andhra Pradesh celebrates Vaisakha shukla paksha dashami, Kerala celebrates it in a previous month Margashira Amavasya coinciding with MulaNakshatra. Chaitra Purnima is the chosen day for donation of rice to please Sri Chandra Deva, Moon god.
· Shakambhari Purnima is celebrated on the full moon day of the month of Pausha
· Madhu Purnima is celebrated on the full moon day of the month of Bhaadra. On this day Uma Maheswara Vrata as well as Shakra Vrata where Indra is worshiped for children and well-being.