Kartik Purnima falls on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month Kartik of the Hindu calendar. It is also the birth date of Lord Shiva’s son and god of war, Kartikeya. To be celebrated on November 4, many devotees believe Lord Shiva defeated Tripurasura (three demons Vidyunmali, Tarakaksha and Viryavana had a firm control over the world and had created three cities in space known as Tripura) on this day. He killed them by using just one arrow and had pleased the gods a great deal. The festivities of Kartik Purnima lasts for five days and on the eleventh day, people observe Prabodhini Ekadashi by keeping a fast.
Importance of the Holy Bath or Ganga Snan
Devotees make offerings, perform rituals and take bath in the holy river since they it will give relief from the sufferings and sins of life. They also observe fasts and worship Shiva and the temples organize special puja for the god.
Taking bath in the holy river Ganga commences early morning from the Ashwin Shukla Paksha to Kartik Shukla Paksha. People also worship Lord Vishnu by offering him flowers and prasad.
Why is Lord Vishnu worshipped on this day?
Kartik Purnima is associated with Prabodhini Ekadashi, which is the period signifying the awakening of Vishnu god. It marks the end of Chatur Maas, the four months when he is believed to have been sleeping. Lord Vishnu was incarnated as ‘matsya’ or fish, hence it is also considered as the birthday of the Matsya avatar of Sri Hari Vishnu.
Worshipping Lord Vishnu on this day is believed to bring immense good fortune and blessings. Performing rituals and traditions and taking the holy Ganga snan is thought to bring luck, success, karma and salvation.