Sharad Purnima- The Full Moon Effect!
After celebrating Navratri and Dussehra with utmost fun and fervour, Hindus across the nation celebrate Sharad Purnima also known as Kojagari Purnima and Raas Purnima. Devotees worship Goddess Laxmi on this day for prosperity and it is also marked as the harvest festival, signifying the end of the monsoon season.
To celebrate the sighting of the full moon and to seek the healing energy of full moon people observe fast on this day and stay awake beyond midnight. It is believed that the Goddess Laxmi blesses those who stay awake and worship her during this time. It is believed that on this day, Moon is closest to the Earth and its rays release many useful elements. According to Vedic Astrology, this is the only day in the whole year, when the Moon is full of its 16 virtues or nakshatras and its rays are considered equivalent to an elixir. The moon rays also boost mental tranquillity & positivity balancing out the Sun energy which of activity and dynamism.
On this day, devotees prepare kheer and leave it in the moonlight. It is said that milk, when left over a period of time, stimulates lactic acid, which in turn, helps in the production of good bacteria. The rays of the moon enhance this property of the milk and make it healthier. Moreover, kheer also contains rice which is rich in starch which provides myriad health benefits and since this food is rich in nutrients, it is hailed as divine nectar.