Sharad Purnima is one of the most significant Purnimas or Full Moon nights in the Hindu Calendar. It will be celebrated by the Hindu devotees on October 30 this year. Full moon is witnessed once in every thirty days and the full moon in Ashwin month is known as Sharad Purnima. As per the Hindu mythology, Sharad Purnima, observed in the Hindu month of Ashwin, is the only day in the year when the moon is resplendent in all its sixteen phases. It is believed that on Sharad Purnima when the Moon is full of its sixteen kalas, the rays contain some healing properties good for the body and the soul.
On the day of Sharad Purnima, Rice-kheer, a popular Indian sweet dish made of milk, rice and sugar or jaggery, is prepared. The sweet dish is left under the moonlight for an entire night so that it gets enriched by the rays of the moon. The next day in the morning, the Rice-kheer is consumed and distributed as Prasad. There is a scientific reason for preparing this kheer on the night of Sharad Purnima, leaving it in the moonlight and eating it on the following day. Milk, when left over a while, restores lactic acid that aids in the production of good bacteria. The rays from the moon enhance the property of the milk, making it healthier.
Kheer or rice kheer contains rich in starch rice which yields a host of health benefits. It improves gut health, reduces inflammation and boosts overall well-being. The rich in nutrient food is often hailed as divine nectar and has also proved beneficial for asthma patients. People observe fasting on this day to seek the energy from moonlight and celebrate the sighting of the full moon. As part of the bhog, several kinds of sweets and savoury dishes are prepared along with kheer.