Magha Purnima is the full moon day in the month of Magh of the Hindu calendar, which falls in January-February every year. Magha is considered to be one of the most sacred months of the Hindu calendar; and Magha Purnima is one of the most important days of this month, and this year, it is to fall on 10th
of February 2017. You can make this day sacred, pious and fruitful for you by performing the rituals associated with this day.
On this day, people are observed to take an early morning bath in the holy river of Ganga. People who do not have the opportunity of taking a bath in the River Ganga take bath in any other holy river, stream or pond that is accessible. If that isn’t possible too, then they pour a little Gangajal into ordinary water, and bathe with it. In fact, a number of bathing festivals are held on the banks of many holy rivers like Ganga, Yamuna, Kaveri, Krishna and Tapti. People also take a dip in the sea at Kanyakumari and Rameshwaram. Bathing in the Pushkar Lake in Rajasthan is also considered highly religious on this day.
The legend behind this bath, according to Brahmavaivartpurana
, is that Lord Vishnu himself resides in the River Ganga during this month, and a dip in this holy water helps you get rid of sins and attain salvation. After bathing, people worship Lord Vishnu as the entire month of Magha is dedicated to Him. People then distribute food, money and clothes among the poor and needy; and also donate the same to Brahmins. It is believed that charities and donations made on this day helps one get rid of multiple sins and gives fruitful bliss. Some people observe fast on this day, and also offer tarpan
to their ancestors. All of these rituals provide peace of mind and purity; and Lord Vishnu blesses his devotees with contentment, peace, happiness and wealth.
Lord Satyanarayana being an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, people also perform the Satyanarayana Katha on this day. The Lord is offered fruits, banana leaves, pan, til, supari, etc. Panchamrat is made with milk, honey, sugar, tulsi, gangajal and banana. Wheat and sugar are mixed and roasted to make a special prasad for the Puja. In fact, many temples organize Satyanarayana Katha on this day. You may take part in organizing it, or at least make it a point to attend this Katha. Or, to have a Satyanarayana Katha in your home, you can book a MakeMyPuja
Pandit to help perform it in the most auspicious manner while completing all the rituals correctly.
Another important festival is celebrated on this day in Tamil Nadu, which is known as the ‘float festival’. Lavishly decorated idols and images of Lord Sundeshwara and Meenakshi are mounted on floats, and are taken to the Mariamman Teppakulam Sarovar, a large sacred tank in Madurai.
Make sure to take the benefits of this sacred day by performing at least the bathing ritual, praying to Lord Vishnu, and making some charity and donations, no matter where you may be on this day.