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Pitru Paksha or Shradh 2019 starts at the end of Ganesh Chaturthi festival. Pitru Paksha is a 16-day ritual that starts on 13 September and will continue till Sarva Pitru Amavasya on 28 September.
As per the South Indian Amavasyant calendar, Pitru Paksha falls in the lunar month of Bhadrapada which begins on a full moon day or the day after full moon day.
And according to the North Indian Purnimant calendar, it falls in the lunar month of Ashwin, which begins on a full moon day or just after it.
It is believed that during these 16 days one should pay respect to their ancestors by doing pujas, rituals and daan to help the departed soul attain moksha or peace.
Importance Of Pitru Paksha
According to the Brahma Purana, ancestors attain salvation and whatever is offered during these 16- day-ritual is believed to be received by the ancestors. It is believed that if it's performed in the right manner, the deceased soul is pleased and will bless his/her near and dear ones.
In Hinduism, when a person dies, his close ones make sure that his body and soul leaves the mortal world in a peaceful manner.
Significance Of Pitru Paksha
According to the ancient Indian text Mahabharata, after the war between the Kauravas and Pandavas, Karna lost his life on the battlefield. When he reached the heavenly abode, he was offered food in the form of gold and silver. But, he couldn't eat the jewellery so, he asked for food. Lord Indra told Karna that throughout his life he donated gold and silver to everyone, but not food. After which, he sent Karna back to Earth for 15 days so, he could serve his ancestors and this period is referred to as Shradh.
The last day of the Pitru Paksha is known as Sarvapitri Amavasya or Mahalaya Amavasya, which is the most important day of the mourning period.
This period is considered inauspicious for weddings, buying properties or jewellery.