Pitru Paksha is a 16 day period when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors through the offerings of food and money. It is celebrated from the Bhadrapada Poornima of Ashwin month to Amavasya of Ashwin month. Pitru Paksha dates keep changing every year. This year, it will begin from 13th September and will end on September 28 with the Amavasya also known as Sarvapitri Amavasya or Mahalaya Amavasya.
What is Shradh?
In this time period of 16 days, whatever we offer in remembrance of our ancestors is called Shradh. According to the scriptures, it is believed that those who have died come to earth in their subtle form and accept the offering of their kin.
Regarding Shradh, it is being said that Bhishma Pitamah had told Yudhishtar that the person doing the Shradh attains happiness in both worlds. Pitra give blessings to everyone according to whatever they want if they are pleased with the offerings of Shradh.
13 September - Purnima Shradh
14 September - Pratipada
15 September - Dwitiya
16 September - Tritiya
17 September - Chaturthi
18 September - Panchami Maha Bharani
19 September - Shashthi
20 September - Saptami
21 September - Ashtami
22 September - November
23 September - Dashami
24 September - Ekadashi
25 September - Dwadashi
26 September - Trayodashi, Magha Shradh
27 September - Chaturdashi Shradh
28 September - Pitra immersion, Mahalaya Amavasya
Who should do shradh?
Shradh is generally reserved for the son, but if there are no sons, then grandson, great grandson or widowed wife can also perform it. At the same time, the wife can perform Shradh if her husband is not present at the same place. However, on Sarvapitri amavasya or matamaha, the daughter's son can offer Shraddha for the maternal side of his family if a male heir is absent in his mother's family.