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According to the Vedas, the Moon controls a person’s emotions and expressions. This is often why some people tend to behave differently, or experience mood-swings around the time of Amavasya.
In earlier times, on Amavasya, people did not work, instead they rested for the whole day. Most people often refrained from buying new things or starting a new activity or business on the day of Amavasya. They also avoided traveling around the time of Amavasya, as there was no light to guide the traveler. On this day, devotees prayed to Lord Shiva to show them ‘light’, as he is linked to the Moon in the Hindu scriptures.
Traditional celebrations include people keeping a fast (Amavasya vrat) and performing Amavasya Puja Vidhi for their forefathers. The Amavasya before the period of Navratri is considered an auspicious time to offer prayers to the souls of departed loved-ones so that their souls rest in peace. Food is also offered to the ancestors.
The custom of offering food is based on the popular story of Karna, a famous character in the epic Mahabharata, who was not able to get any food after death. When Karna was alive, he was very charitable, giving people gold and other items, but not feeding the poor or hungry. After his death, Lord Yama advised Karna to go back to Earth and feed people, so he does not go hungry in the afterlife.
And so, on Amavasya days, many people also give food to the poor and even hold langars.
It is also believed that those born on the day of Amavasya generally have a long life, and spend most of their time traveling to exotic, foreign lands. These people are also highly intelligent, and always on the lookout to expand their knowledge.
Many people believe that Amavasya is not an auspicious time. On this day, the presence of evil spirits on Earth is believed to be stronger. However, astrologers and other occult professionals regard Amavasya as highly auspicious days. It is believed that remedies must be performed on this day to reduce economic, personal, or familial hardships. Doing pujas can also help devotees become more calm and peaceful.
On the day of Amavasya, it is advised that you throw away items that are not of use, and light a candle or diya at night in your prayer-room or temple. This can help you get rid of tension and reduce your stress.
Amavasya 2020 will be observed on 12 days. To those who wish to celebrate the festival, the list of Amavasya 2020 includes -
Magha Amavasya on 24th January,
Phalguna Amavasya on 23rd February,
Chaitra Amavasya on 24th March,
Ashadha Amavasya on 21st June,
Shravana Amavasya on 20th July,
Bhadrapada Amavasya on 19th August,
Ashwina Amavasya on 17th September,
Ashwina Adhika Amavasya on 16th October,
Kartika Amavasya on 14th November,
Margashirsha Amavasya on 14th December.