The literal meaning of the Sanskrit term ‘Amavasya’ is the day of the new moon or the day when the moon is not visible. It holds a great significance in Indian culture and beliefs. Across religions, Amavasya is considered a time of great power. It is commonly referred to as ‘Amavasai’ in Tamil, however, the scholars term it as ‘Puthuppi Rai’.
The Amavasya is considered inauspicious except for the Kartika Amavasya, the Amavasya of Diwali and that is the reason why Saubhagya Lakshmi pooja is done on the day of Diwali. This day is marked by many festivals and fasting. People observe fast on this day to appease the Sun and the Moon gods. It is considered an auspicious occasion for performing shraadha and tarapan to ancestors.
Somvati Amavasya, the Amavasya which falls on Monday, is considered the most auspicious out of all the Amavasya days. Observing fast is considered the most fruitful and it is called Somvati Amavasya Vrat. Devotees take a holy dip in the sacred rivers of Ganga, Yamuna, Krishna, and Kaveri.
The popular observances and dates for Amavasya include Mauni Amavasya, Shani Jayanti, Vat Savitri Vrat, Bhaumvati Amavasya, Lakshmi Pooja (Diwali), Hariyali Amavasya, and Mahalaya Amavasya (Pitru Paksha).
In 2020, there are 12 Amavasya days. Following is the Amavasya Calendar for 2020:
Amavasya Calendar: 2020
1. January 24, 2020, Friday - Darsha Amavasya and Magha Amavasya - Phalguna, Krishna Amavasya
2. February 23, 2020, Sunday - Darsha Amavasya and Phalguna Amavasya - Chaitra, Krishna Amavasya
3. March 24, 2020, Monday - Darsha Amavasya - Chaitra, Krishna Amavasya
4. April 22, 2020, Wednesday - Darsha Amavasya and Vaishakha Amavasya - Jyeshtha, Krishna Amavasya
5. May 22, 2020, Friday - Darsha Amavasya and Jyeshtha Amavasya - Ashadha, Krishna Amavasya
6. June 21, 2020, Sunday - Ashadha Amavasya - Shravana, Krishna Amavasya
7. July 20, 2020, Monday - Darsha Amavasya and Shravana Amavasya - Bhadrapada, Krishna Amavasya
8. August 19, 2020, Wednesday - Bhadrapada Amavasya - Ashwina, Krishna Amavasya
9. September 17, 2020, Thursday - Darsha Amavasya and Ashwina Amavasya - Kartika, Krishna Amavasya
10. October 16, 2020, Friday - Adhika Darsha Amavasya and Ashwina Adhika Amavasya - Kartika, Krishna Amavasya
11. November 15, 2020, Sunday - Kartika Amavasya - Margashirsha, Krishna Amavasya
12. December 14, 2020, Monday - Darsha Amavasya and Margashirsha Amavasya - Pausha, Krishna Amavasya