Rasa Purnima in Odisha in 2020

Rasa Purnima in Odisha in 2020
Miniature boats made from banana stems are set afloat on Rasa Purnima. Image by Deveedutta
  How long until Rasa Purnima?
This holiday next takes place in 372 days.
  Dates of Rasa Purnima in Odisha
2021 Thu, Nov 18Regional Holiday
2020 Mon, Nov 23Regional Holiday
2019 Tue, Nov 12Regional Holiday
2018 Fri, Nov 23Regional Holiday
2017 Sat, Nov 4Regional Holiday
  Summary
First full moon day of the month of Kartik. The day when Lord Krishna performed the Rasa Lila dance

When is Rasa Purnima?

Rasa Purnima is a regional public holiday in the eastern Indian state of Odisha.

It is observed on the full moon in the month of Kartik, which means the holiday usually falls in November in the western calendar. The date of the festival coincides with the Jain light festival and Sri Guru Nanak's birthday.

Traditions of Rasa Purnima

This Purnima (full moon) is considered very auspicious to Hindus and Jains. It takes places after the monsoon season has ended, so the skies are clearer and darker making the moon seem brighter than normal. 

This day marks the victory of Lord Shiva over three demons, Vidyunmali, Tarakaksha and Viryavana. The demons had taken control of the earth after vanquishing the gods and creating Tripura, three cities in space. On this day, Lord Shiva killed the demons with a single arrow. This deed impressed the gods so much that it was declared as a festival of illumination, and hence it is also known as Dev-Diwali (Diwali for the gods.)

Devotees of Krishna believe that on this day, the god performed the Rasa Lila, the dance of divine love. The Rass Lila is part of the traditional story of Krishna described in Hindu scriptures in which he dances with the goddess Radha. 

People in Odisha celebrate this Purnima by setting afloat miniature boita (boats) made from banana stem to mark the significance of the day.

Inspired by the Rasa Lila, Rāslīlā folk dance are based on scenes from the life of Krishna. Solo and group dancing are combined with singing, chanted recitation, and instrumental accompaniment. The audience joins in singing refrains and marks the beat by clapping hands. The interaction of performers, chanters, and audience determines the length of each performance.

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