Narali Purnima, also known as Shravana Purnima, is widely celebrated in coastal Maharashtra and the Konkan region. The Koli communities celebrate the end of the monsoon season with this festival. Narali Purnima also referred to as ‘Nariyal Purnima’ or ‘Coconut Day.’ It is observed on ‘Purnima‘ in the Hindu month of ‘Shravan’ (also referred to as Saavan), which corresponds to the months of July-August in the Gregorian calendar.

The term ‘Narali Purnima‘ is derived from two words: ‘Narali,’ which means ‘coconut,’ and ‘Purnima,’ which means ‘full moon day.’ As a result, coconut has special significance for the day. On this day, fishermen offer coconut to appease Lord Varuna, God of the Sea to protect them from misfortunes, mishaps, and sea calamities.

Other than offering coconuts, fishing boats are decorated, and oil lamps are floated into the sea on this day. The fishermen then take a short trip out to the sea in their decorated boats after completing the puja rituals. It is often claimed that after this day, the wind’s strength and direction change in favour of fishing. The day is also marked by dancing and singing by the fishermen’s community. The feast of St Lawrence is observed by the Goan Catholic fishermen community on this day.

Narali Purnima in 2022

This year Narali Purnima will be celebrated on Friday, August 12, 2022.

Auspicious Timings on Narali Purnima

  • Sunrise: 6:05 AM on August 12, 2022
  • Sunset: 6:58 PM on August 12, 2022
  • Purnima Tithi Commences: 10:38 AM on August 11, 2022
  • Purnima Tithi Concludes: 7:05 AM on August 12, 2022

Rituals conducted on Narali Purnima

These are some of the rituals conducted by the fisherwomen during the Narali Purnima festivities:

A few days before the festival, fishermen repair their fishing boats and nets. They paint their boat and decorate it with flower garlands. Some may purchase new boats and nets on this occasion.

On the festival day, traditional naral bhaat or coconut rice is prepared alongside naralachi karanji (coconut-filled fried sweet dumplings).

Women dress up in their traditional style nav vaari (9-yard saris) and fine jewellery and come together to perform the puja rituals. Men, too, dress up in their traditional style.

The womenfolk pray to the Sea God and offer coconut after performing the rituals.

Pooja is also performed for the boat, and small oil lamps are carried or set afloat in the waves.

After the puja, they come together for a procession and offer golden-coloured coconut to the sea.

Fishermen sail in their ornately decorated boats after completing the puja rituals. They return to the shore after a short trip and spend the rest of the day taking in the festivities.

People plant coconut trees along the coast on Narali Purnima day as a show of respect and gratitude for Mother Nature.

Significance of Narali Purnima

Narali Purnima is one of the major festivals for the Koli community, and it is widely celebrated with great pomp and gaiety. Narali Purnima falls on the same day as other festivals such as ‘Shravani Purnima,’ ‘Raksha Bandhan,’ and ‘Kajari Purnima.’ Though regional variations exist in the festivities, the importance, emotion, and rituals remain the same.

The festival commemorates the completion of the monsoon season, as fishermen can go out to the sea without fearing harsh weather. Apart from offering coconut to Varuna, the sea God, people also worship the sea and pray to God to keep them safe while fishing at sea.

Prior to Narali Purnima, fishermen do not go for fishing, and neither do they consume fish. They commence fishing activities and begin consuming fish only after Narali Poornima when a coconut is offered to God at high tide. This festival’s traditional food is a sweet curry made from coconut. Another popular ritual performed on Narali Purnima is the Upanayana.

The Upanayana and ‘Yagyopaweet’ rituals are among the most popular. On Narali Purnima, devotees also pray to Lord Shiva because it is considered that the three eyes of a coconut represent the three-eyed Lord Shiva. The Brahmins perform the Shravani Upakarma fast on this day and do not consume any grains. They maintain the Phalahar Vrat by eating coconut all day. On Narali Purnima, people plant coconut trees along the coast as a show of gratitude and respect for Mother Nature. Following the puja rituals, fishermen set sail in their decorated boats on the sea. They spend the remainder of the day soaking in the festivities after a short trip. The most popular activities at this festival are dancing and singing folk songs.

On Narali Purnima, a special coconut sweet dish is prepared for the Lord’s offering. The staple food of the day is coconut. Fishermen eat a variety of coconut-based dishes.

On the same day, Raksha Bandhan is also observed. Sisters tie rakhi, also referred to as the thread of protection, around the wrists of their brothers.

Astrological significance of Narali Purnima

On full moon days, high tides often occur in the sea due to the positioning of the Sun and Moon which are in opposition on that day. Since Narali Purnima also marks the beginning of the fishing season, fisherfolk pray and appease the Sea God to be peaceful for them to commence fishing activities.

Narali Purnima festival dates between 2022 and 2026

2022 Friday  12th August 2022
2023 Thursday  31st August 2023
2024 Monday 19th August 2024
2025 Saturday 9th August 2025
2026 Friday 28th August 2026

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