Amavasi and Pournami
The white moon and the black moon or the full moon and the new moon -
These days are observed by Hindus as fasting days. But the fast is in
the evening. In the morning, after bath, an ordinary meal is taken but
in the evening there will no supper but only some gruel or Kanji is taken.
In all fasts, abstention from flesh, fish, eggs are strictly followed.
In Pournami, in the month of March, the festival of
the goddess Bhagavati is the most celebrated of all. The Principal
part of the solemnity is that the Brahmans in honour of the moon, present
a large offering, which they call Somayaga. On this occasion they bruise
certain aromatic herbs and prepare from their juice a particular kind
of beverage, which they partake, and at the same time they chantt a great
number of forms of prayer called Mantra. The Somayaga is a Vedic sacrifice
of some importance which very few Brahmans undertake to perform. It is
performed only once in the course of one's life. The sacrifice is not
made to Bhagavati. There is no animal sacrifice at Soma Yaga.