Pitru Paksha 2021 Dates, Traditions & Rites

Pitru Paksha 2021 is an auspicious period in Hinduism when the followers of Hinduism pay respect to their ancestors, especially through food offerings. This article offers you Pitru Paksha 2021 dates for an accurate observance along with mythological importance. 

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Every year, a duration of 15-16 days marks the presence of our ancestors on the earth. This is the time when ancestors ascend on the Earth to bless their offsprings and children. The foods and dishes are offered to dogs, cows and crows during this time. It is believed that the food given to these animals and birds reach our deceased ancestors and help them feel satisfied. But do you know why offering food to elders carries such significance during Pitru Paksha 2021? Read ahead to know.

Pitru Paksha 2021 & Significance Of Offering Food To Elders

Pitru Pakha 2021 importance has been described as followers. As per Hindu Puranas, we owe a karmic debt to our ancestors. By dutifully performing all rules and rituals of ‘Pind Daan’ during Shradh, we try to pay it back. After getting free from the circle of life and death from Earth, our 3 preceding generations reside in the world between heaven and earth. Here, our ancestors are not able to find respite from their bodily needs such as hunger, pain, thirst and heat. Only the Pooja performed by the succeeding generations on earth can provide them with relief and ensure their entry into heaven. ‘Pind Daan’ delivers the unfulfilled wishes of our ancestors. The ‘Raj Tama’ that emerge from their bodies attrats animals such as cows, dogs and birds like crows. Therefore, we offer food to them. In this manner, it is believed that the dishes and food are fed to the ancestors.

Mythological Legend Of Pitru Paksha

According to Hindu legends, Karan’s soul was taken to heaven after he passed away. There he was offered gold and jewellery. However, he was not given any food. He felt hungry and asked Indra why he was being offered jewellery and not food, to which Indra said that he always donated jewellery and flowers to his ancestors but never offered them any food. Karna replied that he did not know who his ancestors were, due to which he was unable to offer them food. Hearing this, Lord Indra blessed him with 15 days to correct his mistakes. Thus, Karan performed Shradh during this period and donated water and food in the memory of his ancestors. 

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Pitru Paksha Shradh Rites And Traditions

During the Pitru Paksha rites, Shradh is performed. The process of this ritual may vary from one person to the other but usually, it has 3 steps:-

  • The first step is called Pind Daan where Pind is offered to the Ancestors. Pind is nothing but the rice balls which are usually made with Ghee, honey, rice, Goat’s milk, sugar and occasionally barley.
  • The second step is referred to as Tarpan where water mixed with flour, barley, Kusha Grass & black sesame is offered to the Ancestors.
  • The third and the last step of this ceremony is offering food to the Brahmin priests. Devotees should read out the tales from the holy scriptures.

Apart from these processes given above, the person should refrain from certain things while pursuing Pitru Paksha rites. For example, during Pitru Paksha, non-vegetarian food shouldn’t be eaten, Hair should not be cut, and one should not eat tamasic food like garlic, onion, etc. Starting any auspicious work like any new project or endeavour or purchasing a new home or vehicle should also be avoided during this phase.

Shradh 2021 Dates During Pitru Paksha 2021 

Below mentioned are Shradh Dates 2021 during Pitru Paksha 2021: 

  1. 20th September 2021 (Monday) – Purnima Shraddha
  2. 21st September 2021 (Tuesday) – Pratipada Shraddha
  3. 22nd September 2021 (Wednesday) – Dwitiya Shraddha or Dooj Shraddh
  4. 23rd September 2021 (Thursday) – Tritiya Shraddha
  5. 24th September 2021 (Friday) – Chaturthi Shraddha and Maha Bharani Shraadh
  6. 25th September 2021 (Saturday) – Panchami Shraddha
  7. 26th September 2021 (Sunday) – Shashti Shraddh
  8. 28th September 2021 (Tuesday) – Saptami Shradh
  9. 29th September 2021 (Wednesday) – Ashtami Shraddh
  10. 30th September 2021 (Thursday) – Navami Shraddh
  11. 1st October 2021 (Friday) – Dashmi Shraddh
  12. 2nd October 2021 (Saturday) – Ekadashi Shraddh
  13. 3rd October 2021 (Sunday) – Dwadashi Shraddh or Magha Shraadh
  14. 4th October 2021 (Monday) – Trayodashi Shraaddh
  15. 5th October 2021 (Tuesday) – Chaturdashi Shraddh
  16. 6th October 2021 (Wednesday) – Sarva Pitru Amavasya or Amavasya Shraddh

Read in detail: Do’s & Don’ts During Pitru Paksha

Top Places To Observe Pitru Paksha Rituals In 2021

As per the Hindu mythology, there are some famous places in India for performing the Pitru Paksha 2021 rituals of Shraadh for the departed souls to stay in peace and be happy.

  • Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
  • Prayaga (Allahabad), Uttar Pradesh
  • Gaya, Bihar
  • Kedarnath, Uttarakhand
  • Badrinath, Uttarakhand
  • Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu
  • Nasik, Maharashtra
  • Kapal mochan Seshambadi, Yamuna Nagar, Haryana

Pitru Paksha Mela 

Pitru Paksha Mela is held in Gaya, the holy city of Bihar, and known as an annual event which is attended by people from across the country in order to perform Shradh ritual. This ritual holds great importance as during this time, our ancestors are worshipped.

Shradh ceremony is also called the Pinda Daan, a rite which is believed to bring salvation to our ancestors and is also an obligatory ritual in the Hindu culture. Overall, Pitru Paksha Mela is an every year event that is of much value not just to the people of Bihar but beyond as well. Gaya is one of the most popular holy places in the world and hence celebrating Pitru Paksha 2021 Mela is considered even more sacred if done here. The Pitru Paksha 2021 Mela date usually falls mainly in September, ahead of Navaratri.

Major Attractions of Pitru Paksha Mela In Gaya

  • Holy Dip

It is amazing to witness the love of people for their ancestors who are no more alive. They perform all the Pitru Paksha rituals with utmost devotion and love including taking a dip in the pure waters of River Ganga.

  • Food Offerings

People make food offerings for their ancestors. The food usually includes buttermilk, Kheer, lentils, yellow gourd, the vegetable of spring bean, and rice. The food is cooked in copper/silver vessels and placed on cups made of dried leaves or banana leaves. It is said that the offering is accepted if a crow flies in and eats the food, as the bird is considered to be the messenger of the ancestors’ spirits or Yama. In addition, Brahmin priests, a dog and a cow are also fed.

  • Worship in Temples

The holy city has many ancient temples as well, which are worshipped by people coming from all over India. Especially during Pitru Paksha Mela, people worship gods to ask for the Sadgati of their ancestors. This is also done to make their stay in the other world easy and peaceful. This is one of the Pitru Paksha rites being performed with a devoted heart.

  • The Shradh Ritual

This ritual involves Pind Daan in which Pinds are offered to the ancestors. The ritual guides that one should offer water from their hands while standing in the river. Then Lord Vishnu, in the form of a Shaligram stone, and Lord Yama, the God of death, are worshipped.

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