Mahalaya 2022: Date, significance and rituals - all you need to know

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Mahalaya 2022: On September 25, 2022, Indians will observe Mahalaya - this marks the end of the Pitru Paksha, also known as Shradh or Shraddh, and announces the beginning of Devi Paksha. Mahalaya has special significance, especially for Bengalis as this day means that Durga Puja celebrations are all set to begin. This day is observed at the end of Shradh or Pitru Paksha, a 15-day period when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors. Not only does this annual event hold a religious and spiritual significance, but it also reminds us of the power of truth and courage and of the universal fact that in the end, good will always triumph over evil.

Mahalaya 2022: Date

The end of Pitru Paksha is the day when Mahalaya is celebrated and this year (2022), Mahalaya falls on September 25.

Mahalaya 2022: Significance

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. As per legends, it is believed that Maa Durga undertakes this week-long journey with her children - Ganesha, Kartik, Lakshmi and Saraswati - on a vehicle of her choice to reach the earth. Her vehicle could be a palanquin, boat, elephant or horse. It is also believed that the choice of her vehicle determines whether it will be a calamity or prosperity for mankind. 

Also read: Navratri 2022: What are Maa Durga's different vahans and what do they signify

Mahalaya 2022: Rituals

On Mahalaya, every Bengali household wakes up early in the morning - before the sun rises. 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. 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.

People even prefer listening to the Mahishasuramardini composition on the radio. Also, there is a special ritual associated with the painting of the eyes of the goddess. On Mahalaya, artisans carry out their final touch of drawing the eyes of Ma Durga.

Shubho Mahalaya, everybody!

(With ANI inputs)

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