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Chaitra Purnima: History, Significance, Timings (Muhurat) and Rituals

Chaitra Purnima

The Hindu calendar is known as the lunisolar calendar as it is based on the motions of the moon. Each lunar year comprises 12 lunar months, i.e. 12 full cycles of the phases of the moon. Hindus consider Purnima (full moon) as auspicious, and many people even keep fast on this day according to their rituals. Chaitra Purnima is a Hindu festival observed on a full moon day of Chaitra month.

Chaitra Purnima is the first Purnima in the month of Chaitra after the commencement of the Hindu New Year. According to the Gregorian calendar, Chaitra month either falls in March or April. It happens when the sun rises above the zodiac sign of Aries and the moon gets aligned with the Chaitra star in the Libra constellation.

Date And Timing (Muhurat) Of Chaitra Purnima Celebration

Chaitra Purnima 2023, will be observed on:
Chaitra Purnima Date - 6th April, 2023 (Thursday)
Chaitra Purnima Time:
Purnima Tithi Begins – 09:19 AM on Apr 05, 2023 (Wednesday)
Purnima Tithi Ends – 10:04 AM on Apr 06, 2023 (Thursday)

Chaitra Purnima 2024, will be observed on:
Chaitra Purnima Date - 23rd April 2024
Chaitra Purnima Time:
Purnima Tithi Begins - 03:25 AM on Apr 23, 2024
Purnima Tithi Ends - 05:18 AM on Apr 24, 2024

Chaitra Purnima Significance And Importance

Chaitra Purnima Significance And Importance

According to Hindu beliefs, Chitragupta (Brother of Lord Yama), keeps an account of a person’s good and bad deeds, which is later passed over to Lord Yama to decide the fate of the person after his death. On the day of Chaitra Purnima, many people pray to Chitragupta, to attain his blessings in clearing their sins. Devotees also pray to God, to receive forgiveness and start devoting their life towards a rightful deed. Hanuman Jayanti also falls on the auspicious day of Chaitra Purnima.

Background and History of Chaitra Purnima

Chaitra Purnima Significance And ImportanceThe Hindu mythology is rich in imparting knowledge about each auspicious day of the Hindu calendar. A Chaitra Purnima story is also narrated in the Vedic tradition. According to the Chaitra Purnima legend, Lord Indra, the King of Gods, once disobeyed his mentor, Lord Brihaspati. To teach Indra a lesson, Brihaspati, appointed him as his advisor. While Brihaspati was away, Indra did a lot of wrong deeds. When Brihaspati returned, he became aware of all the wrong things done by Indra. As a result, Brihaspati immediately took the position back from Indra. Feeling guilty, Indra asked Brihaspati, what could he do to get rid of the wrongs done by him. Brihaspati advised him to go on a pilgrimage to wipe out all the bad karma.While on the pilgrimage, Indra started feeling that some of the burden of his negative karma had been lifted at a place near Madurai. He discovered a Shivalinga at that place and offered his devotion by constructing a temple there. Indra started praying to Lord Shiva on the day of Chaitra Purnima. Lord Shiva created golden lotuses in the nearby pond as a symbol of pardoning the wrong deeds of Indra.A similar tale is mentioned in Thiruvilaiyadal Puranam and Tamil scriptures, after which, devotees started performing Chaitra Purnima poojas in the Meenakshi Temple.

Chaitra Purnima Cultural Significance

Chaitra is the first month of the year according to the Hindu calendar. With the change in time, the significance of the festivals has changed accordingly. It is now celebrated to remind us of a superior power that maintains a constant watch over every watch of ours. It is an invisible power that keeps a check on each act of ours. It is also believed that Chitra Gupta stays on the shoulders of every individual to keep us engaged in constantly doing good deeds.

Chaitra Purnima Ritual

Chaitra Purnima Ritual

Most of the festivals in India are celebrated by taking a dip in the holy rivers. Similarly, devotees on the day of Chaitra Purnima, rise early and take a holy dip in the sacred rivers or other water bodies before sunrise as a symbolism of washing their sins away. They also narrate Chaitra Purnima Katha at the river. They offer prayers to Lord Vishnu and Lord Hanuman after taking the holy plunge.

  • Visiting Lord Murugan Temples: Devotees visit the temples of Lord Murugan on this day and offer their prayers and seek his divine blessings. The idols of God are first cleaned and the deity is decorated with flowers and fragrances.
  • Pad Yatra: Men go on Pad Yatra, or a foot pilgrimage to the temples of Lord Murugan, and cover a total of 100 kilometers within a spate of three to four days. Women also travel barefoot and offer buttermilk and food to the pilgrims to signify their devotion.
  • Kavadis: Devotees offer Kavadis to Lord Murugan to pay homage to divinity. Kavadis are bamboo poles that they carry on their shoulders, along with other puja stuff including milk, sacred water, and flowers.
  • Thirukalyanam: The ten-day celebration of Panguni also celebrates the celestial wedding of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, also known as Thirukalyanam.
  • Ayyappan Jayanti: Ayyappan Jayanti is celebrated in Ayyappa temples situated across Tamilnadu and Kerala.
  • Kalyan Vrata: Devotees begin their fast on this auspicious day after bathing in the early morning. Either they would completely abstain from any kind of meal or they would have one meal. They also visit the nearby temples to worship the deities, Lord Muruga, Lord Shiva, and Lord Vishnu.
  • Prasadam: A special sweet dish is prepared for Lord Shiva, which is distributed around Prasadam among the devotees. Devotees eat Prasadam and share it with other family members.

Chaitra Purnima Vrat Vidhi

Some devotees observe a ‘Satyanarayan’ fast to please Lord Vishnu. They observe the fast by abstaining themselves from eating food. The devotees recite the ‘Satyanarayana Katha’ and also perform Chaitra Purnima puja vidhi with sacred food (prasad) that is offered to God. People also keep fruits, supari, banana leaves, sacred thread (moli), incense sticks, and sandalwood paste for this puja. Apart from this, some people prepare nine different foods (Navadha Niyam) which are offered to impress God.

A religious practice of offering ‘Arghya’ to the Moon God, concluded by narrating Chaitra Purnima Vrat Katha and performing Mangala Aarti.

Some devotees also perform Maha Mrityunjaya Jaap on the day of Purnima to ward off their problems.

Chaitra Purnima Mantra

Once the Chaitra Purnima Puja is completed, devotees chant some Chaitra Purnima Puja Mantras like ‘Gayatri Mantra’ or the ‘Om Namo Narayana’ mantra for 108 times in a row. We can also recite the Hanuman Chalisa. While offering water to the moon, the mantra “Om Som Somaya Namah” should be chanted.

Deities Worshipped And Their Significance

Chaitra Purnima is not a day when we only worship the full moon, but a lot of Gods and Goddesses are worshipped.

Chitra Gupta is worshipped to cleanse the soul of the wrong deeds to escape the punishment of Lord Yama after death.

Lord Hanuman is prayed on Chaitra Purnima because it is also the day, we celebrate Hanuman Jayanti.

Lord Vishnu is offered prayers on this auspicious day, as he is considered the saviour, the protector, and the preserver. His incarnations (Avatars) have protected the Earth and humankind from the cruelty of evil.

Some people also offer prayers to Lord Krishna because Raas Utsav (Maharas) in Braj ends on Chaitra Purnima. It is believed to start on Kartik Purnima and end on Chaitra Purnima.

By offering Chaitra Purnima puja and doing certain rituals to Maa Lakshmi on Purnima night, the devotee witnesses’ prosperity, and social status.

People who believe in Vedic Astrology, also worship Shiv-Shakti, the symbolism of time, eternity, energy, and fertility.


For Hindus, Chaitra Purnima is an auspicious day as it is a time of self-reflection on our words and acts, as well as to remind ourselves to forgive and forget. Chaitra Purnima vrat is said to bring calmness to your mind and body and it destroys other sufferings. It’s a day that allows us to relate to our Vedas and recollect the teachings of our religion. It is a step taken forward towards a soulful living.

Regional Variations of Chaitra Purnima

During Chitra Purnima, Anamala Hills attract thousands of pilgrims who participate in a 14 km long walk called Pradakshina. Devotees gather in large numbers at the Chitragupta Temple, Kanchipuram.

There is an old temple of Chitra Pournami Valiya Thottam Bhagavathi at Pachalloor en-route Kovalam in Thiruvananthapuram. This festival has been celebrated here for the last 200 years. This temple is dedicated to Shakti or Bhagavathi.

Chaitra Purnima is called Chithira Pournami in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, especially across followers of Kaumaram and Shaiva Siddhanta. Devotees observe a Chaitra Purnima fast, worship Lord Murugan (Kartikeya) and break their fast the next morning. The idea of moonlight helps to dispel darkness to the souls is the festival’s motive.

In Andhra Pradesh and parts of Karnataka, Chaitra Purnima is observed as Pathala Vratam, when they keep a fast and worship their Gods.

In Orissa, a month-long puja is dedicated to Goddess Mangala that begins on Chaitra Purnima. This day is highly auspicious for the fishing community and they offer special pujas for a better catch and safe fishing in the seas.

Chaitra Purnima is celebrated as a tribal festival in the Koraput region of Odisha and parts of Bihar.

Food For The Festival

People generally fast on Chaitra Purnima. But, some who do not fast eat Sattvic food made of sabudana, kuttu, singhada, sweet potato, pumpkin etc. They do not consume onion and garlic. The food also does not include any kind of grains.

Sweets are prepared from foxnuts, dry fruits, milk, jaggery etc.

Contemporary Relevance of The Festival

Even living in the 21st century, people believe in the supreme power and have faith that it is protecting them from evil. People still believe in their Karma and try to purify their souls by performing the rituals on Chaitra Purnima. We can see people taking a holy bath in the rivers, observing fasts, offering prayers, donating food and other things to the needy. This is keeping them in rack with their roots attached to the traditions of the Hindu religion in maintaining the balance of life and keeping the life cycle running. By performing fast on Chaitra Purnima, devotees not only become stronger but also improve their metabolism. Therefore, it not only holds a spiritual reason, but also provides a scientific reasoning. It also helps to gain control over our anger or emotions.

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