New Delhi [India], September 25 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday greeted the people on the occasion of Mahalaya.
"On Mahalaya, we pray to Maa Durga and seek her divine blessings for our people. May everyone be happy and healthy. May there be prosperity and brotherhood all around. Shubho Mahalaya!" tweeted PM Modi.
Mahalaya, which marks the beginning of Durga Puja celebrations, is here. 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 falls on September 25 this year.
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.
A large number of people on Sunday converged on the banks of the Hooghly River to take a holy dip and offer prayers to their ancestors on the last day of Pitru Paksha, also known as Sarvapitari Amavasya.
Pitru Paksha, which is called Mahalaya in West Bengal, is the 16-day lunar day period when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors (Pitras), marking the beginning of 'Devi Paksha', the day marked by the arrival of Goddess Durga, according to the Hindu calendar.
It is believed that on this day the spirits of ancestors happily go back to their respective worlds after blessing their relatives.
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.
On Mahalaya, every Bengali household wakes up early in the morning -- even before the sun. 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. (ANI)