Amavasya is a day of no moon day which occurs every month. This day is considered as the most appropriate time to perform Shraad ceremony i.e. ancestral offerings. Amongst the 12 Amavasyas that take place in a year, some Amavasyas are regarded as more suitable to perform the Shraadh ceremony and Phalguna Amavasya is one such time.
Phalguna month falls during March – April period of the Gregorian calendar, falling before the Chaitra month (April – May), Phalguna is the last month of the year therefore Phalguna Amavasya is the last Amavasya of the year. This is one explanation why Phalguna Amavasya is regarded as the most important for performing the Shraadh or Tarpan (ancestral offerings) for the deceased.
Importance of Phalguna Amavasya :
Phalguna Amavasya, this year is falling on 09th March which is also a Solar Eclipse Day. Solar eclipse day is considered as the propitious to perform the Shaad ceremonies. Phalguna Amavasya, therefore is considered as the most significant to perform the Shraad ceremonies.
Importance of Shraad
After demise, the departed soul reaches the Pitru Loka i.e. world of ancestors. They reside there until their subsequent destiny is decided. During this time, they shall feel the twinge of hunger and thirst and they cannot eat anything on their own. Therefore, offerings are made from the earth to them to eliminate their hunger. Descendants of the ancestors perform the Shraad ceremony with the materials advocated accompanied by the suitable mantras, the slight characteristic of the materials offered reaches them and fulfils their hunger and thirst.
When Shraad must be performed?
Normally, Shraad is performed on the day when the ancestors died as per the lunar month of the Hindu calendar. If for some rationale, this is not possible or if the accurate date of a person's death is not known, then Shraadh can be performed on Amavasya days. If regular Shraadh ceremonies cannot be done on every Amavasya (there are twelve Amavasyas in a year), some Amavasyas are especially devoted to these rituals and Phalguna Amavasya is one such occasion.