Kajri Purnima (full moon) is celebrated on the full moon day in the Hindu month of Shravan (august), the same day as the Rakhi Purnima. Kajari Navami is celebrated in Central India particularly in Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and parts of Uttar Pradesh. This festival is extremely significant for the farmers as it signifies the beginning of the season for sowing barley and wheat and is thus considered extremely propitious.
The Farmers, on this day, worship Goddess Bhagwati (goddess of prosperity) and seek blessing for s good crop. Since Agriculture is the main occupation of the people in this belt, the festival holds a rather important place amongst them.
The preparation of the festival start on the ninth day after the Kajri Amavasya (no moon), and the ninth day is therefore known as Kajri Navami (ninth day). The rituals are carried out by women who have conceived a son. From the Kajari Navami onwards the celebrations and rituals carry on till the Kajari Purnima which is generally about 5 days later on the full moon day.
On the Navami day, women go to a particular field and get some mud to sow Kajri (wheat). It is kept in conical cups made of leaves and these cups are kept in the inner room of the house, free from moisture and air. Before this, the room is washed with cow-dung.
A part of the wall is coated with the cow-dung solution and designs such as figures of a house, a child in cradle, a mongoose and a woman with a pitcher are drawn on this part. Thereafter this cup is worshipped daily. This worship continues for the next seven days till the auspicious day of the Kajri Purnima, the full moon day.
On the evening of the Full moon day once the moon is visible in the sky, the women carry out a procession with the leaf cups on their heads. They chant songs of worship as they move onto a water body where the cups are eventually immersed.
It is custom for the women to fast all day on the Kajri Purnima and they also pray for the well being of their sons. In western parts of the country, this day is known as Nariyal Purnima or Rakhi Purnima and in the south as Avani Avittam.
The day is associated with a fable from the Panchatantra (India's answer to Aesop's fables) in which a mongoose who saved a child of a Brahmin who unknown to the truth killed the goose.