About Chitra Pournami
Chitra Pournami is a Hindu festival observed on the full moon day in the month of Chithirai or Chaitra, which corresponds to the months of April–May in the English calendar. It is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Chitragupta, the assistant of the God of death, Yama. The word Chitra means ‘picture’ and Gupta means ‘hidden’ which symbolizes Chitragupta’s role as the keeper of records of all the actions and deeds committed by a person on Earth. Thus, Chitragupta is popularly called as the bookkeeper of heaven who will ultimately decide whether a person goes to heaven or to hell. Astrologically speaking, Chitragupta is the overlord of the shadow planet ‘Ketu’ and worshiping him on Chitra Pournami day will overcome ‘Ketu Dosha’ in the horoscope. Chitragupta is a popular deity in the Southern regions of the country, but there are very few temples dedicated to him. There is a prominent shrine for Chitragupta in Kanchipuram in the state of Tamilnadu. Devotees have a bath in holy rivers or other water bodies to wash away their sins and special poojas are conducted in honor of the deity on the Chitra Pournami day. Observing a fast and feeding the poor are also some of the rituals observed on Chitra Pournami day.
Celebrating Chitra Pournami at Home
Many people celebrate Chitra Pournami in a grand manner at home. On the night before Chitra Pournami, Pooja lamps are washed, and turmeric, kum kum dots (vermillion) and thread are kept ready for performing Pooja on the next day. The house is also thoroughly swept and kept clean. Neem flowers, dried flowers, a coconut, a raw mango and a palm hand fan are also kept for the Pooja.