On this day, Lord Shiva killed Tripurasura. Hence it is called Tripura Poornima. Shiva took the form of Tripurantaka (“Antaka- who ends/ended; of Tripura-Tripurasura”) killed the demon on this day. Tripurasura had conquered the whole world and defeated the gods. He also created three cities in space, together called Tripura. Lord Shiva used the bow made of mount Meru, the serpent Vasuki is seen as its string and destroyed Tripura’s cities with a single arrow – and overjoyed the gods and they pronounced the day as a festival of illuminations. This day is also called “Dev-Diwali” – or the Diwali of the gods. It is also called as Tripura Poornima. People take bath in the oceans.(on full moon days of Ashada, Karthika, Makha, Vaisakha months, people take bath in the oceans).
People do “jwaala thorana” in Shiva’s temples. When angels and demons churned the ocean of milk, first poison came out and Lord Shiva in order to rescue the world, swallowed it. If he had any danger, his wife, Parvathi took an oath to enter Fire. Lord Shiva came our unscathed from the ordeal. So, Parvathi walked under the Jwala Thoranam three times.
Kartik Poornima is an important religious day for Jains who celebrate it by visiting Palitana one of the most famous Jain pilgrimage centre.Thousands of Jain pilgrims flock to the foothills of Shatrunjay hills.
Sikhs celebrate Kartika Poornima as Guru Nanak’s birthday or Gurpurab.