IN Bombay, India, when the rainy season is over, the fishermen and their wives and children gather by hundreds to keep a festival, which they call "the full moon of cocoa-nuts."

The feast occupies two whole days. The idea, which inspires it, is that the sea is very powerful.

The simple-minded people think they ought to praise it because it gives them their bread; and so, as they stand on the shore, they beg it to be good to them. They ask it, in caressing words, not to be angry or stormy when their little boats shall go out; and they tell it they hope it will give them plenty of fish.

Not only the fishermen, but owners of boats and ship-builders, and sometimes rich merchants, go to the sea-side to court the favor of grim old Neptune. Every person carries a gift of cocoanuts. Wading out into the surf as far as possible, he flings the rough brown fruit into the waves.

After the cocoa have been received by the billows, the devotee finishes by offering a crown of flowers.

The waters are covered with beautiful wreaths and garlands, which are given in thankfulness for past favors. Little does the ocean care for the flowers and the fruits, which are carried into its depths.

But the festival makes the grave men and women as eager and happy as children; and when they go home, at the end of the second day, they carry with them memories, which will make them joyful as long as they think of "the full moon of cocoanuts."

May we not learn from these heathen people a lesson of gratitude to Him who gives us "every good gift and every perfect gift?"




Harper' s Young People.