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Pitr Paksh

Date: 16th September to 30th September, 2016

India is known for its unique culture and vivacious festivals that can bedazzle anyone. Pitr Paksh also known as Shraddh and Mahalaya Amavasyaew is considered as one of the most propitious day in the Hindu calendar. Various rituals are also performed on this day in the names of departed ones. On this day, people gather on river banks and perform rites and rituals for the departed. In Hindu religion, Pitr Paksh is the time to pay homage to our dead ancestors.

Time for Celebration

Pitr Paksh is celebrated in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada (September) by Hindus all across globe. This period is considered as an ideal time to perform rites and rituals for the departed ancestors to keep their soul pleased for years.

Story behind Pitr Paksh

Pitr Paksh is also connected with some legends akin to other Indian festivities. As per Hindu legends, Karna who was one of the brave warriors and after his death he could get food. As his soul was reached into higher kingdoms, he found diamonds and gold, but not food. This happened because Karna was a benevolent king and he bestowed plenty of precious diamonds and gold, but he had never offered food to a deprived one.

Therefore, Karna prayed and pleaded to God of death, Lord Yama to provide him some solution of this problem. As per the advice given by Lord Yama, Karna came back to earth, donated food to hungry people, and returned to his realm. Thus, giving food or annadana became a part of Pitr Paksh celebrations.

Rituals of Pitr Paksh

The eldest son of the family mainly performs the customs of Shraadh, but a male member of the family can also perform these rituals. While performing Shraadh, one must keep in mind three things; avoid hastiness, control over anger and piety. The priests and the family members for the peace of the departed soul chant holy mantras.

On this day, giving new clothes, fruits and sweets to Brahmins as it is believed that whatever is bestowed to Brahmins reaches to the departed souls. It is believed that if Shraadh is performed with full dedication, ancestors feel satisfied and they bless the person with pleasures, knowledge, children, wealth and a total life.

Things to be avoided during Pitr Paksh

During the period of Shraadh, mainly people don’t wear new clothes and avoid buying any new stuff. Auspicious activities, such as any kind of birth ceremony, marriage settling, setup of new business etc are proscribed during Pitr Paksh.