Narali Pournima is a festival that is mainly celebrated by the fishermen of Maharashtra. It falls on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Shravan and coincides with a few other festivals like Raksha Bandhan, Shravani Pournima, etc. The festival is celebrated with much enthusiasm amongst the fishermen, who offer coconuts to the Sea God on this day. Infact, it is this ritual that has resulted in it being named as Narali Poornima.
The term Narali has been derived from the word 'Naral', which means
coconut. Pournima is the Hindi term for full moon day. Thus, the name
Narali Pournima Festival! The reason for the offering of coconut is that
the festival marks the commencement of the new fishing season in India.
Fishermen make the offering to appease the Sea God, so that He helps
them in catching the fish with as much safety as before.
After the ritual is over, they set out in the sea, in their beautifully
decorated boats. After a short trip, they come back to the shore and the
rest of the day is spent in the celebrations (that include singing and
dancing). The special dish of the day is, ofcourse, made from coconut
and is a sweet rice preparation. If you are planning to visit any of the
coastal areas in Maharashtra, try to schedule it around Shravan month,
so you get to see the fervor with which the festival is celebrated.