The Ashwin Purnima is known as Sharad Purnima or Kojagari Purnima. In this year Sharad Purnima is starts from 3 Oct. 11:23am to 4 Oct. 11:41am. So, Purnima is celebrated on 3 Oct. 2009.
It is believed that on this night Goddess Lakshmi visits from place to place asking "Kojagari??" meaning "Who is awake" and bless those who are found awake. Hence people don't sleep this night and spend whole night by playing games, singing and doing all amusing activities.
Many rituals are practiced on this festival of bright moonlight. There is general practice of preparing "Dudh Paua" kheer and offered to God. It is believed that keeping food under the moonlight nourishes the body and soul.
It is considered that the moon and Earth are at the closer distance on Sharad Purnima night due to this the rays of the moon have several curative properties.