Kojagara Puja is the festival ascribed to the worshipping of Sri Mahalakshmi. The festival is mostly observed in West Bengal, Orissa and Assam. The festival is also called as Kojagiri Puja, Bengal Lakshmi Puja, Raas Purnima and Sharad Purnima.
Kojagara Puja occurs on the full moon day of the Ashwin month. For the Year 2023, Kojagara Puja occurs on Saturday, 28th October 2023. The exact duration of the Pournami Tithi has to be ascertained from the respective regional calendars.
Kojagara Puja is also celebrated for worshipping Chandra, the full moon. It may be noted that Chandra had appeared prior to Sri Mahalakshmi during the Samudra manthan of the cosmic ocean.
As per the legend, Chandra the moon is believed to dazzle with sixteen kalas on this day. It is considered very auspicious to sight the moon on this day. It is believed that the rays of the moon would nourish and nurture the bodies and souls of those who sight and worship it.
As per another belief, Sri Mahalakshmi is said to go around the universe on this day to bless the distressed people. It is believed that keeping awake on this day shall bestow the healthy benefits and the resultant prosperity.
In Eastern India, special Prayers and Pujas are offered to Sri Mahalakshmi and Chandra. In some regions, Bhagwan Shiva and Sri Lakshmi are worshipped. Some women devotees also observe fasting on this day. The practice of preparing the sweet dish named rice-kheer, keeping it in moonlight for the whole night and consuming on the next day morning is also followed.
As per another belief, Bhagwan Sri Krishna had danced with Gopikas on this day. Hence this day is celebrated as Raas Purnima in the Central and Northern India.