Pitra Paksha 2021 : Everything Which You Need to Know About Shraadh

After saying Good Bye to Lord Ganpati a farewell on Anant Chaturdashi with a promise of him returning next year in Ganesh Utsav then the period of Pitru Paksha comes. This time it began on 21st September 2021 and will last till 6th October 2021. 

Pitra means ancestors from your family and Paksha is the period that takes place before the Sharad Navratri begins.

This 16-day long period of Pitru Paksha is the time when Shraadh rituals of the elders and all those who left this world are perform.

It is said that by offering food and performing Tarpan-the souls of our dead ancestors attains peace, thereby bestowing their blessings on the family.

Shraadh Date

21st September 2021 to 6th October 2021. 

This year it began on 21st September 2021 and will last till 6th October 2021. 

Shraadh Rituals

India is a land of diverse cultures, rituals and traditions.

It is said that the Shraadh of a particular ancestor or relative from the family is perform on a specific lunar day during the Pitru Paksha-usually at the same day when that person left for heaven.

Exceptions are made in the case of those individuals who die in a particular manner. 

Chautha Bharani and Bharani Panchami, the fourth and fifth lunar day respectively, are allocate for those who are decease in the past year.

Avidhava Navami (Unwidowed ninth), the ninth lunar day is for married women who died before their husband.

While widowers invite Brahmin women as guests for their wife’s Shraadh.

The twelfth lunar day is for children and ascetics.

And the fourteenth day is known as Ghata Chaturdashi or Ghayala Chaturdashi which is reserve for those killed by arms, in war or suffer a violent death.

Sarvapitri Amavasya (all ancestors’ new moon day) is allocate for all the ancestors, irrespective of the lunar day they died.

Most important those who forgot to perform Shraadh by any reason can do so on this day.

Mahalaya marks the start of Durga Puja for Bengalis across the globe.

It is believe that this is the day when Goddess Durga descended on earth.

Offers to the dead ancestors are either made at home or at Puja Pandals.

Matamaha or Dauhitra also marks the first day of the month of Ashvin and is assign for the grandson of the deceased maternal grandfather.

It is said that the ritual is also held on the death anniversary of the ancestor.

The Shraadh ceremony is perform only at noon essentially on the banks of a river or lake or at one’s own house.

It is seen that usually families set out on a pilgrimage to divine and holy places such as Varanasi and Gaya for the Shraadh ceremony.

Shraadh Offerings

The food that is offer to the ancestors while Shraadh has to be cook in either silver or copper utensils.

Also food is place on a banana leaf or dried leaves.

The food generally includes Kheer, Lapsi, rice, dal, spring bean (guar) and a pumpkin.

Most of those following the rituals stay away from non-vegetarian food during Pitru Paksha.

NOTE : Listed above rules, different regions might perform the rituals and customs differently depending upon their own following. 


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