Sharad Purnima is a holy sacred Hindu annual event. It is also celebrated as a harvest festival too, especially by farmers. It is observed on the full moon in the Hindu 7th lunar month of Ashvin. Ashvin corresponds to Gregorian period part of September and part of October. Sharad Purnima is considered the most unique Purnima of the year by many.
Sharad Ritu is one of the 6 seasons in India and Nepal. Ritu means season. It relates to early autumn that comes after the monsoon season. Purnima means full moon. Sharad Purnima is also known by other names region-wise, such as Raas Purnima, Sharad Poonam, Kaumudi Purnima, Kojagiri Purnima, Navana Purnima etc.
The full moon, Purnima Tithi time start 23rd of October at 10:36 pm and ends on the 24th of October at 10:15 pm. Tithi means the time. Many devotees, especially of Lord Krishna, who is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and some also Goddess Lakshmi observe Vrat, fasting, perform prayers and visit temples. Some natives drink cold milk on this Purnima. The deity worship at times depends on the region. Natives seek blessings for wealth, mental peace, prosperity etc.
Generally, after Sharad Purnima, the weather becomes pleasant, there is a respite from the summer and the monsoons, and the temperature starts dipping towards winter. Sharad Purnima falls between Dussehra and Diwali, and this period marks the beginning of an air-aura-spirit of the festive season.
Sharad Purnima is also associated with Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna is said to have started his Raas Leela and organized Maharasa for his Gopis in this night. According to an ancient legend, it is believed that the moon on Sharad Purnima is the only day in the entire year when the moon comes out totally of the 16 Kalas. Each Kala is the rich characteristic, quality of the moon.
A Mantra for Lord Krishna is—
Krun Krishnaay Namah
कृं कृष्णाय नमः
A Mantra for Lord Chandra, the moon is—
Om Som Somaaye Namah
ऊँ सों सोमाय नमः