Narali Purnima is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Maharashtra and several other parts adjoining the Konkan regions. The fisherman community celebrates this festival to ward off unwanted incidents while sailing in the sea. This year Narali Purnima falls on August 03, 2020. The festival marks the end of the monsoon season in Maharashtra and beginning of the fishing and the water-trade amongst the fisherfolk. Thus, the fishermen offer prayers and worship the sea-God, Varun, for a smooth journey out in the waters. Dancing and singing are an integral part of this festival.
Narali Purnima festival also known as Coconut Day is an important festival dedicated to Sea God Varun. The Hindu festival of Narali Purnima or the Coconut festival is celebrated with great fervour and in a jubilant manner by Fisher community of the western coastal regions of India. It is observed on the ‘Purnima’ ( which is known as full moon day) in the month of ‘Shravana’ in the Hindu calendar and therefore referred to as ‘Shravana Purnima’.
The word ‘Narali’ means ‘coconut’ and ‘Purnima’ signifies the ‘full moon day.’ Coconut holds an important purpose on this day. During this festival, people offer coconuts to the sea. It is also believed that after this day the strength of the wind and the direction of the same changes in favour of fishing.
Before the arrival of the festival, fishermen repair their old fishing nets, paint their old boats or new boats are purchased or fishing nets are made. Then the boats are decorated with colourful buntings or flower garlands. Devotees worship the Sea god Varun asking the God for its protection and blessings for a prosperous fishing season ahead.
On the day of the festival, the traditional food which involves coconut is prepared like Naraali Bhaat or coconut rice. The sea is holy to the fishermen as it is a means for their survival. They also offer pooja to the boats. Happy Nirali Purnima 2020.