Narali Purnima, also known as ‘Coconut Day’ is an important festival celebrated majorly by Hindus in the western coastal regions of India. In 2018, Narali Purnima falls on August 26. It is observed on the ‘Purnima’ (full moon day) in the month of ‘Shravana’ in the Hindu calendar and therefore referred as ‘Shravana Purnima’. For those following Gregorian calendar, this occurrence falls between the months of July-August. Narali Purnima is observed with great zeal and fervour in Maharashtra and adjoining Konkani regions. People from the fisherman community celebrate this festival to ward off untoward incidents while sailing in the sea.Also Read - Narali Purnima 2016: Importance & Significance of Nariyal, Shravana Purnima!

The word ‘Narali’ is derived from ‘Naral’ implying ‘coconut’ and ‘purnima’ signifies the ‘full moon day’ and therefore coconut holds an important purpose on this day. In the other regions of the country, the festival of Narali Purnima coincides with other festivals like ‘Shravani Purnima’, ‘Raksha Bandhan’ and ‘Kajari Poornima’. Even though the traditions and cultures may differ, the significance remains the same.

Coconut forms the staple food of the day and various dishes like ‘narali bhaat’ (coconut rice) and ‘narali karanji’, a deep-fried snack dumpling stuffed with coconut. To show gratitude towards nature, people plant trees on the day. People also worship Lord Shiva as it is believed that the three eyes of coconut are the depiction of Lord Shiva’s eyes.

Purnima tithi begins: 3:16 pm on August 25, 2018
Purnima tithi ends: 5:25 pm on August 26, 2018

Rituals during Narali Purnima:

-On the day of Narali Purnima, Hindu devotees worship Lord Varun. On this occasion, a ‘nariyal’ (coconut) is offered to the Lord of Sea. It is believed that brightly performing the puja rituals on Shravana Purnima, they can please the Lord and seek His protection from all dangers of the sea. The ‘Upnayan’ and ‘Yagyopaweet’ rituals are among the most widely followed rituals.

-The month of Shravana is dedicated to worshipping Lord Shiva. On Narali Purnima, devotees also offer prayers to Shiva as it is believed that the three eyes of coconut is a depiction of 3-eyed Lord Shiva.

-The Brahmins in the state of Maharashtra who performs the ‘Shravani Upakarma’ keep a fast on this day without consuming any form of grains. They keep the ‘phalahar’ vrat by eating only coconut all day long.

-On Narali Purnima as a gesture of gratitude and respect towards Mother Nature, people also plant coconut trees along the coast.

-After completing the puja rituals, fishermen sail in the sea, in their ornately decorated boats. After making a short trip, they return to the shore and spend the rest of the day soaking in the festivities. Dancing and singing form the main attraction of this festival.

-A special sweet dish from coconut is prepared on Narali Purnima that is eaten together with the family members after offering to the lord. Coconut forms the staple food of the day and fishermen consume various dishes made from it.

The festival of Narali Purnima is indicative of the coming year that will be filled with happiness, joy and wealth.