Kumara Purnima is celebrated across Odisha by unmarried girls who long for a good life partner. During this festival, spinsters known as ‘Kumari’, get up early in the morning, take bath and wear a new dress. They make food as offering to the Lord Sun.
They fast throughout the day and worship the moon by offering prayers. The girls worship Lord Kartikeya as they idolise him as a good husband. Kumar or Kartikeya, the handsome Son of Shiva was born on this day.
He also became the God of war. As young girls always wish for a handsome husband, they propitiate Kumara who was most handsome among the Gods. But, peculiarly enough there is no ritual for the God, instead the Sun and the Moon are worshipped.
In the early morning the girls after their purificatory bath wear new garments and make food-offerings to the Sun. They observe fasting for the day. In the evening when the moon rises they again make food offerings of a special variety and take it after the rituals are over.
It is a festival of rejoicing for the girls. All of them sing and dance. The songs are of special nature. They also play a kind of game known as ‘Puchi’. They also indulge in other varieties of country-games.
This day is also observed as the birth day of Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth. Therefore, many people worship the Goddess at their homes and keep themselves awake by playing Pasha (Chess), and other indoor games. Significantly it suggests that those who wish to acquire wealth should always be vigilant at night. It is for this reason the owl, the bird which sleeps in the day and comes out only at night.