No moon day, also known as Amavasya is on August 11, Saturday. It holds a special importance in the Hindu culture as many rituals are performed on this tithi. The days are also considered appropriate to perform Shraddha rituals. Amavasya that falls on Saturdays are known as ‘Shani Amavasya’. The days are dedicated to Lord Shani and are celebrated to get rid of problems in life. Lord Shani is also known as Chhaya Putra, Sanaischarya, and Shanishwara.
On Shani Amavasya, people perform tarpan and Shradh for dead relatives. It is believed that worshipping ‘pitras’ (departed souls) on this day helps the dead souls to rest in peace. Performing puja and daan on this day helps to mitigate the negative effect of pitra dosha and kaalsarp dosha. Observing vrat on the day helps to seek blessings of Lord Shani. In a year there are around 2-3 Shani Amavasya.
Devotees observe fast on the day and break it after sunset by consuming rice mixed with sesame seeds or black urad dal. Those undergoing saadesati period or Shani Mahadasha are advised to observe vrat and perform puja on the day to get rid of the trouble and seek a peace of mind. Devotees chant prayers and mantras for Shani Dev throughout the day.
Amawasya tithi begins: August 10, 2018, at 7:07 pm
Amawasya tithi ends: August 11, 2018, at 3:27 pm
Shani Amavasya Rituals
The idol of Lord Shani is bathed with water and black clothes are offered to the lord. Jaggery and Chana (Gram) are offered to the lord and bhog with black sesame seeds as an ingredient is offered. Sesame lamps are lit in front of the idol. To make sesame lamps, pour sesame oil in earthen lamps. Take a cloth and fill it with sesame seeds and tie it. Dip the cloth in the lamp and let it soak the oil. Once it properly soaks the oil light the closed end.