Holidays Around The World for Feb. 4: Mauni Amavasya

Mauni Amavasya

January-February; 15th day of waning half of Hindu month of Magha
Complete silence is observed on the day known to Hindus as Mauni Amavasya. Because bathing during Magha, one of the most sacred Hindu months, is considered to be a purifying act, many Hindus camp out along the banks of the Ganges River throughout the month and bathe daily in the sacred river. But the bathing and fasting end with the observance of Mauni Amavasya, a day for worshipping Lord Vishnu and circumambulating the peepal (a type of ficus) tree, which is mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita and is regarded as holy.
For many Hindus, the celebration takes place at Prayag, a well-known pilgrimage center where the Ganges, Yamuna, and Saraswati rivers flow together. Some live here for a full month, practicing rituals and ceremonial sacrifices known as Kalpa-Vas . Religious discourses and services are held daily, and the worshippers who come here eat only one meal a day or confine their diet to fruit and milk.
SOURCES:
RelHolCal-2004, p. 183
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