New Delhi [India], September 23 (ANI): Mahalaya marks the beginning of the Durga Pooja festival. It is observed at the end of Shradh or Pitru Paksha, a 16-day period when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors. This year, this special day will be celebrated on September 25.
Not only does this annual event hold a religious and spiritual significance, but it also reminds us of the power of truth, of courage and of the universal fact that in the end, good will always triumph over evil.
Mahalaya is all about the beginning of Durga Puja fun. Generally, people believe that on this day, Goddess Durga officially begins her journey from Mount Kailash -- where she resides with her husband Lord Shiva -- to her maternal home on Earth. As per the Hindu calendar, the celebrations of Mahalaya begin a week before the Durga Pooja celebrations.
The occasion is associated with different practices and rituals. Many people perform 'tarpan' on this day to offer prayers to the departed souls of their ancestors and give 'bhog' to the Brahmins, along with food and materials to the needy. People even prefer listening to the Mahishasuramardini composition.
On Mahalaya, every Bengali household wakes up early in the morning -- even before the sun. Some Hindu households offer the ritual of pitru tarpan during this day wherein they offer prayers and offerings (pind-daan) on the banks of the river Ganga for the departed ancestors.
Shubho Mahalaya, everybody! (ANI)