Kartika Purnima is a very important festival for Hindus, Jains and Sikhs which falls on a full moon day or the 15th lunar day of sacred Kartik Maas of the Hindu calendar (November – December). It is also closely associated with Prabodhini Ekadashi..
Kartika Purnima also celebrated across India as Tripuri Purnima celebrating the victory of Lord Shiva over the demon Tripurasara, Dev Deepawali celebrating the descend of Gods to Earth by the sacred rivers and in particular Varanasi in North of India, KARTIGAI DEEPAK is widely celebrated in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and parts of Srilanka where lord Shiva and Vishnu are worshipped. This is also the day when Lord Vishnu incarnated as Matsya or Matsyavatram to save Manu from the MahaPralaya. In Odisha, they celebrate this day as Bali Jatra and Boita Bandana where they afloat boats made out of banana stem and paper with small lamps in it.
Jains, on this day visit Palitana a Jain pilgrimage centre. There are also those who go to the foothills of Shatrunjay hills of Palitana taluka and this journey is considered to be auspicious.
Kartik Purnima also marks the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
SIGNIFICANCE OF VAIKUNTA EKADASI
Vaikunta Ekadashi or the Mukkoti Ekadasi is dedicated to Bhagvan Srihari Vishnu and falls on the eleventh day of Margali Month (Margazhi Masam) as per Tamil Calendar and in Dhanurmasam as per Telugu Calendar.
Vaikuntha Ekadashi is also known as Swargavathil Ekadasi in Kerala.
Vaikunta Ekadasi festival is more elaborately celebrated by Vaishnavites and quite prevelant amongst Tamil and Telugu speaking people. Fasting, keep vigil at night and passing through the Vaikunta Dwaram are the important auspicious activities on the day.
Vaikunta Ekadasi is celebrated with great importance in Tirupati Balaji Temple, Srirangam Ranganathaswamy Temple, and Bhadrachalam Sita Ramachandra Swamy temple. Apart from these temples, all the temples dedicated to Bhagvan Vishnu and his incarnations in South India celebrate Vaikunta Ekadasi.
The most important ritual on the day in temples is the opening of the Vaikunta Dwaram or Paramapada Vasal door in Vishnu Temples. This door is only opened on the Vaikunta Ekadasi day and devotees are allowed to pass through it. Symbolically the door leads to the Vaikunta - abode of Vishnu.