Mahalaya is observed on the Amavasi day in the Hindu month of Ashwin or Ashwayuja (September-October). Mahalaya 2016 date is September 30, Friday. Time is from on September 30 to on October 1. The last day of Pitru Paksha fortnight, the period sacred for doing rituals and offering oblations to the souls of the departed ancestors, ends on Mahalaya day. Durga Puja rituals also commence on Mahalaya day.
The rituals and rites on Mahalaya day are performed early morning on riverbanks or on seashore. The main offering made on Mahalaya Paksha to ancestors is food. It is believed that the offering made during this period will benefit all the departed souls. Charity in the form of food is also done by people.
Mahalaya – Durga Puja
Mahalaya also heralds the advent of Goddess Durga to earth. Mahalaya marks the beginning of ‘Devipaksha’ and the countdown to Durga Puja.
On Mahalaya day, invitation is given to Goddess Durga to descend on to the earth along with her family. In
Goddess Saraswathi and Goddess Lakshmi are considered part of the family of
Chanting mantras and singing bhajans dedicated to Goddess Durga is the main event on Mahalaya day. The most famous bhajans is the – ‘Jago Tumi Jago.’ The Chandi Kavya or Chandi Stotram is also recited on the day