A tinge of white in the ‘Sharad Purnima’ feast is seen as a befitting tribute to the moon.
Celestial bodies like the sun and moon have always been deeply revered in the Hindu religion, which is why ‘eclipses’ were considered as an ‘anomaly’ back in the day, and people were often advised to stay indoors during such events. However, events like ‘Purnima’ or full moon days have always been celebrated with much fervour and meticulous rituals. Sharad Purnima, Kartik Purnima, Guru Purnima are some of the noted Hindu festivals dedicated to the full moon. This year Sharad Purnima falls on 19th October 2021, the harvest festival is celebrated in the Hindu lunar month of Ashwin, marking the official end of the monsoon. Many divine pairs like Radha-Krishna, Shiva-Parvati and Laxmi-Narayan are also worshipped on the auspicious occasion along with the moon, signifying love and bounty.
Why Do People Eat 'White' Foods On Sharad Purnima
Kheer, an Indian rice pudding, is widely prepared on this day, a part of which is also kept under the moon the whole night and later distributed as Prasad the following day. Many people take the festivities a notch higher by preparing a range of only 'white' foods. That’s right, and the ritual is relatively popular in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Just like in Basant Panchami, where you prepare multiple yellow-hued dishes to signify the upcoming Spring season, a tinge of white in the ‘Sharad Purnima’ feast is seen as a befitting tribute to the moon under the shade of which people like to consume their dinner on this pious ocassion..
From the Royal family to the farmers, many people in Rajasthan have this special dinner out in the open as on the night of Sharad Purnima, the moon comes very close to the earth, and this ‘moonlight’ has many healing benefits, it is said in the scriptures.
Coming to the special menu, there’s, of course, kheer, and many kinds of kheer for that matter. Adding nuts and rose petals is a common practice; it helps give a rich edge to the classic pudding. Then there is the savoury Rajasthani Korma, Kalakand, Raita and Gatte Ka Pulao. The food eaten on Sharad Purnima is vegetarian and often satvik in nature. Many people in different parts of the country also fast for the whole day and eat only after doing their pujas.
The next time when you are too mesmerised by Japan’s Cherry Blossom festival and all the pink and red Hanami foods on your Instagram feed, do remember this sweet tradition of Sharad Purnima too.
Here’s wishing you all a very Happy Sharad Purnima. As we part, here’s a special Badam kheer recipe that we’d be making today. Badaam or almonds not only lend a unique richness to the dessert but also a lovely creamy touch. It is a crowd-puller and effortless to make at home. The best part is the five ingredients you need to put together; almonds, rice, full cream milk, saffron and cardamom powder. You can also skip saffron if you don’t have it in your pantry at present. Here’s the recipe link. Enjoy.