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Thai Amavasya – Amavasai in the Tamil Month Thai

Thai Amavasya or Thai Amavasi is the no moon day in the Tamil Month of Thai (January – February). In 2018, the date of Thai Amavasai is January 16. Thai Amavasai is dedicated to dead forefathers and parents and to other relatives who have died. Special prayers, rituals and offerings are made to the dead ancestors on the day.

Hindus on the day take a holy dip (bath) in the various Thirthas (sacred water bodies). Shradh and Tarpan are offered to the dead forefathers. There is a popular belief that on Thai Amavasya day the souls of the dead visit to bless their relations on the earth. The rituals and other pujas are performed on riverbanks or on seashores.

The day is of great importance at the Rameshwaram Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple. Rituals, pujas and prayers associated with Thai Amavasi are also observed at several places in Tamil Nadu including Kannyakumari, Dhanushkodi, Muhuntharayarchatram, Sethukarai and Devipattinam.

Thousands of people take dip at Rameshwaram and visit the Agnitheertha Kadarkarai (sea coast) in the morning to offer pujas to the dead ancestors. Special prayers also offered to the Navagrahas at Devipattinam near Rameshwaram.

In Rameshwaram, a special procession carrying the idols of Lord Shiva, Lord Ram and Sita from the Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple reaches Agnitheertha on the day and special prayers and pujas are done.

The same day is observed as Mauni Amavas in North India – many Hindus observe a complete silence on the day.

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