Etymology of Narali Purnima
The festival is known as Narali Purnima as Naral means coconut and as a part of the festival coconut is offered to the sea. It is also known by names like Coconut Day festival, Shravani Pournima, Rakhi Pournima and Raksha Bandhan.
Mythological Belief regarding Narali Purnima
Maharashtra is stretched along the Arabian Sea. The people who live near the sea shore are dependent on fishing for their livelihood. They consider the sea sacred as it is their source of livelihood. So, they worship Samudra (Sea God) and Varuna Deva (Rain God). As per mythological belief, they are worshipped because people are of the opinion that they will protect them from the storm and help the sailors to get their livelihood.
Rituals and Celebrations of Narali Purnima
On the auspicious day, the fishermen and fishing community in Maharashtra assemble and celebrate the festival with great pomp and grandeur. Coconut is an important part of this festival as it is considered to be an auspicious fruit. It is believed that a coconut has three eyes and it represents Lord Shiva, the three eyed God. Coconut is offered to god in all most all religious occasions thus this festival is no exception. Thus on the auspicious day, devotees offer coconut to the sea. If the sea is located far away then some nearby tank, pool, river or some other source of water is considered for worship. Once the Puja is complete, fishing is started.
The boats and houses are beautifully decorated. Tribal dances are performed and various cuisines are cooked. All these preparations are done to escalate the festive spirit. Tourists from varied distant places visit Maharashtra to be part of this festival.