Mon, Oct 24, 2016 | updated 02:16 PM IST

People in Bihar's Gaya perform Pitru Paksha ritual for ancestors

Updated: Sep 16, 2016 17:48 IST

Gaya (Bihar) [India], Sept. 16 (ANI): People from across the country converged in Bihar's Gaya city to take part in the 'Pitra Paksha Mela Maha Sangam', a Hindu ritual to pay homage and pray for the well-being of ancestors' souls.

Pitra Paksha, also called fortnight for the ancestors, is a 16-lunar day period and falls in the Hindu lunar month of Bhadrapada (September-October), beginning with the full moon day (Purnima) that occurs immediately after the Ganesh Chaturthi festival and ends with the new moon day.

People were seen performing rituals at the Phalgu River. Those who perform the ritual believe that this rite will deliver salvation to departed souls.

A local priest, Dilip Pandey said rituals are performed at the Phalgu River as it is a primary place to perform the rites.

"Phalgu River is the primary place for the Sharad (ancestral ceremony) and it is considered auspicious to pay homage from this place," said Pandey.

The first day of the period is marked by lunar eclipse. During eclipses, devout Hindus prefer taking bath in the holy rivers.

Meanwhile, Gaya District Magistrate, Kumar Ravi, said that administration has made elaborate arrangement for the annual ritual.

"For the last few months, the district administration has been working on all the arrangements, and now it is in its last stage. The ceremony will start from tomorrow, and we have made all arrangements for the visitors. People visiting for the ceremony will be able to perform the rituals without any inconvenience," Kumar said.

During this festival, the ritual of Pind-daan is performed which is a must to do obligation for all Hindus or followers of Hindu religion.

Those who perform the ritual fast on this day, offer food to the priest and believe that this rite will deliver salvation to the souls of their ancestors.

The food normally includes, Kheer, lapsi, rice, dal, guar and pumpkin. (ANI)