Bhubaneswar, Nov 14: The day today is marked as the full moon day of the Hindu month of Kartik and hence this day is popularly known Kartik Purnima. It is taken to be as one of the auspicious days in the Hindu calendar. On this day just when the dawn is to start, at around 4-4.30 am, all men, women and children across especially Coastal Odisha gather together and walk towards their nearest water body to sail their respective lamps, betel leaves, cracker fruits and coins.
Kartik Purnima also known as the Boita Bandana or Boat Festival, is considered as a huge mass commemoration of the people celebrating the maritime glory Odisha, called as Kalinga in ancient times. But according to some believers, this day is celebrated actually to offer prayers to their ancestral soul and seek their blessings. The Toy Boat Festival also marks the end of a month-long absence from non-vegetarian food for most of the Odia families and also the beginning of the Bali Jatra along the banks of Mahanadi River in Cuttack.
Lastly Kartik Purnima also marks the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, who is the founder of Sikhism.