The Rituals and Traditions of Amavasya: A Comprehensive Guide

Amavasya, also known as the new moon day, holds great significance in Hindu culture and traditions. It is considered a powerful day for spiritual practices and rituals, as well as for honoring ancestors and seeking blessings from the divine. The word “Amavasya” is derived from the Sanskrit words “ama” meaning “together” and “vasya” meaning “to dwell”, signifying the coming together of the sun and moon.

Amavasya falls on the 15th day of the dark fortnight of the lunar month, when the moon is not visible in the sky. It is believed to be a time when the negative energies are at their peak, making it an auspicious day for cleansing rituals and spiritual practices to ward off evil influences and seek divine protection.

Rituals and Traditions of Amavasya:

1. Fasting: One of the most common practices observed on Amavasya is fasting. Devotees abstain from consuming food for the entire day or opt for a partial fast by consuming fruits and milk. Fasting is believed to purify the body and mind and enhance spiritual awareness.

2. Offering Tarpan: Tarpan is a ritual of offering water to ancestors and seeking their blessings. On Amavasya, people perform Tarpan to pay homage to their departed loved ones and seek their guidance and blessings. It is believed that the souls of the ancestors visit the earth on this day, and offering Tarpan helps in pacifying them and ensuring their well-being in the afterlife.

3. Visiting Holy Sites: Many people visit sacred rivers, temples, and pilgrimage sites on Amavasya to seek blessings and perform rituals. Taking a dip in holy rivers like the Ganges or visiting temples dedicated to Lord Shiva or Goddess Kali is considered auspicious on this day.

4. Lighting Diyas: Lighting earthen lamps or diyas on Amavasya is believed to dispel darkness and negative energies. It symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and is considered a way to invite positivity and divine blessings into one’s life.

5. Meditation and Prayers: Amavasya is an ideal day for meditation, introspection, and spiritual practices. Many people spend time in prayer, chanting mantras, and meditating to connect with the divine and seek inner peace and clarity.

6. Charity and Acts of Kindness: Giving alms to the needy, feeding the poor, and performing acts of charity are considered auspicious on Amavasya. It is believed that such acts of kindness bring blessings and good fortune to the giver and help in accumulating positive karma.

7. Breaking Curses and Negative Energies: Amavasya is also a time to break curses, negative energies, and obstacles that may be hindering one’s progress. Performing rituals like Havan or Yagna can help in dispelling negative influences and attracting positive energies.


Q: Can I perform rituals on Amavasya if I am not a Hindu?

A: Yes, anyone can participate in the rituals and practices of Amavasya, regardless of their religious beliefs. The day is considered auspicious for all and can be observed with sincerity and devotion.

Q: How long should I fast on Amavasya?

A: The duration of fasting on Amavasya may vary from person to person. Some choose to fast for the entire day, while others opt for a partial fast by consuming fruits and milk. It is important to listen to your body and choose a fasting regimen that is suitable for you.

Q: Can I perform Tarpan for ancestors I never knew?

A: Yes, you can perform Tarpan for all your ancestors, including those you never knew. The ritual is a way to honor and seek blessings from all your departed loved ones, regardless of whether you had a personal connection with them.

Q: What should I do if I cannot visit a holy site on Amavasya?

A: If you are unable to visit a sacred river, temple, or pilgrimage site on Amavasya, you can create a sacred space at home and perform rituals and prayers there. Lighting diyas, offering prayers, and meditating can also be done in the comfort of your home.

In conclusion, Amavasya is a powerful day for spiritual practices, rituals, and seeking blessings from the divine. By observing the traditions and rituals associated with Amavasya, one can experience inner purification, spiritual growth, and divine protection. It is a time to connect with the higher realms, honor ancestors, and invite positivity and blessings into one’s life. Whether through fasting, offering Tarpan, visiting holy sites, or performing acts of kindness, Amavasya provides a unique opportunity for spiritual rejuvenation and seeking divine grace.