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Pitru Paksha 2022: All You Need To Know About Hindus Food Offerings As Prayer To Their Ancestors

This year Pitru Paksha will be observed by Hindus from September 10. The 15-day period before Navratri, during which Hindus send food offerings as tarpan (prayer) to their ancestors.

Pitru Paksha 2022: All You Need To Know About Hindus Food Offerings As Prayer To Their Ancestors
Pitru Paksha 2022 (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Pitru Paksha also known as Shraadh will be observed by Hindus from September 10 this year. Pitru Paksha is the 15-day period before Navratri, during which Hindus send food offerings as tarpan (prayer) to their ancestors.

From the full moon to the next Amavasya, there are 15 days of Shraadh. At sunrise on this day, til, rice, and other food items are offered to the ancestors. Puja, havan, and daan are then performed. No celebrations are allowed, and nothing new may be purchased, during this time.

Date

According to the Hindu Calendar, Pitru Paksha is observed the fortnight following Ganesh Utsav and occurs in the second paksha (fortnight) of the Hindu lunar month of Bhadrapada (September).

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This year, Pitru Paksha will begin on September 10 and go until September 25, when the nine-day Navratri festival will start. Mahalaya refers to the transition between Pitru Paksha and Matri Paksha.

History

Legend has it that when Karna, the hero of the Mahabharata, passed away and entered heaven, he was shocked to discover that every food item he touched had turned to gold, leaving him starving. When Karna and Surya questioned Indra about the cause, he explained that although Karna had given gold to his ancestors at Pitru Paksha, he had never given them food, and as a result, they had cursed him.

While admitting the ignorance of his forefathers, Karna pledged to make apologies by coming back to earth for 15 days to perform shraadh ceremonies and give food and water in their honour. The 15-day span became known as Pitru Paksha at that point.

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Significance

Three generations of one’s ancestors are venerated during Pitru Paksha for a purpose. According to ancient writings, Pitriloka, a place between heaven and earth ruled by Yama, the deity of death, is home to the souls of the previous three generations. The generations prior to these three generations live in heaven and are not given tarpan because of this.

(With Inputs from ANI)