Kumar Purnima is observed on the full moon day in Ashwin month in Orissa. Kumar Poornima 2014 date is October 7. The festival is dedicated to Kumar or Kartik, the first son of Lord Shiva. Young woman observe special pujas and rituals on the day, which are mainly dedicated to Lord Surya and Lord Chandra. The festival is also known as Kuanra Punein as the full moon is worshipped on the day by offering puffed paddy. The festival is also famous for night long community games and is also seen as an opportunity for young girls and young men to mingle each other.
Kumar, popularly known as Lord Muruga or Lord Kartik, is the most handsome among the Gods in Hindu pantheon and he is also the commander of the army of Devas. According to Oriya tradition, Kumar Purnima is the birthday of Lord Kartik. Unmarried girls worship him on the day to get good and handsome husbands.
In some regions, Goddess Lakshmi is propitiated from the day for a week and it is known as Gajalaxmi puja.
The rituals and pujas on the day are also dedicated to Lord Surya – the Sun God – and Lord Chandra – the moon God.
The first offerings on the day are made to Lord Surya. Women wake up early in the morning and after purification rituals offer food to Sun God. Lord Surya is also worshipped during the process. Women then fast on the day. The fasting ends in the evening after making offerings to Lord Chandra.
During the night, all the members of the community gather in an open area and play various games.