Mahalaya is also known as Pitru Paksha ( पितृ पक्ष) or Pitri Paksha is 16 Day Lunarday period festival in the Hindu Calendar.this is a time when the hindus pay homage and respect to their elderly Late ancestors.The period is also known as Pitru Pakshya, Pitri Pokkho, Sola Shraddha (“sixteen shraddhas”), Kanagat, Jitiya, Mahalaya Paksha and Apara paksha.Pitru Paksha is considered by Hindus to be inauspicious, given the death rite performed during the ceremony, known as Shraddha or tarpan. In southern and western India, it falls in the 2nd paksha (forthnight) Hindu lunar month of Bhadrapada (September) and follows the forthnight immediately after the Ganesh festival. It begins on the Padyami (first day of the forthnight) ending with the new moon day known as Sarvapitri amavasya, Pitru Amavasya, Peddala Amavasya, Mahalaya amavasya or simply Mahalaya. Most years, the autumnal equinox falls within this period, i.e. the Sun transitions from the northern to the southern hemisphere during this period. In North India and Nepal, and cultures following the purnimanta calendar or the solar calendar, this period may correspond to the waning fortnight of the luni-solar month Ashvin, instead of Bhadrapada.
|Name of the Festival||Date||Day|
|Name||Timing Start||Timing end|
|Mahalaya Amavasya tarpan||10:49 AM on October 8th||9:11 AM On October 9th|
|Kutup Muhurat||12:30 PM||1:19 PM|
|Rohina Muhurat||1:19 PM||2:07 PM|
|Aaparahna Kal||2:07 PM||4:33 PM|
According to Hinduism, the souls of three preceding generations of one’s ancestor reside in Pitru–loka, a realm between heaven and earth. This realm is governed by Yama, the god of death, who takes the soul of a dying man from earth to Pitru–loka. When a person of the next generation dies, the first generation shifts to heaven and unites with God, so Shraddha offerings are not given. Thus, only the three generations in Pitru–loka are given Shraddha rites, in which Yama plays a significant role. According to the sacred Hindu epics, at the beginning of Pitru Paksha, the sun enters the zodiac sign of Libra (Tula). Coinciding with this moment, it is believed that the spirits leave Pitru–loka and reside in their descendants’ homes for a month until the sun enters the next zodiac—Scorpio (Vrichchhika)—and there is a full moon. Hindus are expected to propitiate the ancestors in the first half, during the dark fortnight. Source-Wikipedia
Mahalaya is the starting of the mega event of the Bengalees which goes on for full 10 days. It is a mega festival and is celebrated very largely and heavily by all Bengalees all over the world. They make very beautiful models of the deities and also make big decorative pandals for them. They are very splendidly decorated and are a feast to watch. The mandaps are decorated savilion with beautiful illumination. Every day in the evening, the priest performs aarati or greets the goddess by waiving lamps ad incense in accompaniment of the beating of the drums, while the puja is being conducted.
Durga Ma comes along with her sons and daughters – Lakshmi, Saraswati, Ganesh, and Kartikeya. Also comes with her is asura and the lion which is the Bahan or the vehicle of Durga Ma. There is a rat at the feet of Ganesha and there is Chal-Chitra which is a particular circular canvas of mat containing paintings of heavenly scenes placed at the back of the idols. The entire frame of the gods and goddesses is placed on a high raised platform or altar which is made of wooden planks. On these days to see these idols, Thousands and thousands of men, women, and children are dressed in their best manner to go see the pandals and the heavenly idols of the gods and goddesses. It is a wonderful time for all the Bengali peoples and a very memorable one also. There are different types of competitions run for the best decoration of pandals and the idols. Which in turn creates a competitive feeling among all the organizers and levels up their delivery.