The Hindu calendar follows the lunar month, and Purnima and Amavasya or Full Moon and New Moon are auspicious days. Every fortnight, millions of Hindus observe a 'vrat' or fast on either or both these occasions.
From ancient times, Hindus have come to believe that the fortnightly cycle of the moon exerts a great influence on the human anatomy just as it affects the water bodies on earth resulting in tides and ebbs. So the Hindu scriptures recommend keeping a fast or taking light food on full moon and new moon days as it is said to reduce the acidic content in our system, slow down the metabolic rates, increase endurance. Read Full Article
Many Hindus observe fast throughout the full moon day or Purnima and pray to Lord Vishnu. Likewise, on Amavasya, the new moon night, which falls at the beginning of new lunar month, most Hindus keep a fast and offer food to their ancestors. Hindus observe a fast on the two Ekadashis (11th Day of the lunar phase) every month. Usually, these fasts lasts for 12 hours - from sunrise to sunset, and people on fast do not consume rice, wheat, pulses, grains and salt during the duration this time.
When do these auspicious days fall this year? Check out the Notable Lunar Dates for 2014-15.