"Lord Caitanya's Appearance day falls on March 22, that is on a Sunday. The devotees should fast until evening, when there is a ceremony and offering of a small amount of Ekadasi preparations. The next day, the devotees should celebrate amongst themselves with a small scale feast. You may hold the celebration open to the public on the following Sunday. The preparation to be offered specially on this occasion is bhuni kichri: Fry equal parts dal and rice in ghee and massala. Add two times water as dal and rice, and add vegetables (if you use more ghee, use less water). Cook it until it is dried and the rice is soft."
Srila Prabhupada Letter to Krishna dasa, 02-18-70
Gaura Purnima celebrates the appearance day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, a direct incarnation of Lord Krsna who manifested in Sridhama Mayapur, West Bengal, in the year 1486. Lord Caitanya is Lord Krsna Himself, displaying pastimes in the form of His own devotee. He appeared in this world to spread love for Krsna through the congregational chanting of the holy names of the Lord.
Gaura Purnima means "Golden Full Moon", which aptly describes the Lordís appearance. Caitanya Mahaprabhu took birth at the full moonrise, benedicting the fallen conditioned souls with the sweetly sublime names of Lord Hari. Today, the Gaura Purnima festival is celebrated by all-day fasting, hearing about the glories of the Lordís merciful Kaliyuga incarnation, and enjoying a sumptuous prasadam feast at moonrise.
Two Gaura Purnima feast menus are offered below. The first includes preparations generally associated with Lord Caitanyaís sankirtana pastimes. The second was developed for our Gaura Purnima celebration this year, in the Spring of 2004, to celebrate the Lordís pastimes traveling around India.