New Delhi [India], September 17 (ANI): Social distancing norms were faulted in the various parts of the country on the occasion of Mahalaya on Thursday.
People gathered in large numbers at Sangam Ghat in Uttar Pradesh's Prayagraj to take a holy dip and perform "Pind-Daan" of their ancestors on the last day of the month of Pitru Paksha.
As per Gopal Ji Panda, the Tirtha Purohit at the Sangam Ghat, on the day of Mahalaya, everyone has the right to pray for the souls of ancestors, even if they don't know the date of their deaths.
"Today, on the last day of Pitru Paksha, everyone has the right to do 'Pitra-Daan' of their ancestors by taking a dip in the rivers, shaving their heads and offering 'Daan' to Brahmins. Then they'll take the blessing of the Brahmins for the departed souls," said the Purohit.
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COVID-19 norms were faulted in West Bengal's Kolkata where people in large numbers take a holy dip in Hoogly River on 'Mahalaya Amavas'.
Markets of Guwahati in Assam were also crowded on the occasion of 'Mahalaya Amavas', where people stepped out in large numbers to shop for the occasion.
When asked, people said the crowd is far lesser than most years due to COVID-19 protocols.
"In comparison to other years, there is no crowd in the markets. Many people are not stepping out due to COVOD-19 protocols. Most people who are coming to the market are following social distancing in general, but some people do fault it," said Pramod Singh, a local of Guwahati.
In Odisha, the ritual of the Lions Gate opening at Jagannath Temple was performed as per rituals on the occasion of Mahalaya.
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But due to restrictions by the state government on the opening of religious places for common people, devotees were not allowed to perform rituals inside the main Temple.
Mahalaya marks an end to the month of Pitru Paksha, which is observed by Hindus by remembering their ancestors. The families offer food, money, and other gifts to their 'Pitras' (ancestors) as a sign of reverence. (ANI)