Pitru paksha / Pitar Pak / Shradhha Paksh / श्राद्ध पक्ष / पितृ पक्ष 2021

Pitru Paksh or Pitar Pak (also written as Pach or Pakh or Pach) or Shraaddha or Mahalaya Paksh 2021 (श्राद्ध / पितृ पक्ष) is starting from 20th / 21st Sep. During these 15-16 days rituals and pooja/prayers are performed in memory of our beloved ancestors, to express heartfelt gratitude and pray for their peace and seek their blessings.

  • Pitru (पितृ) or Pitar means Ancestors / Family members who died
  • Paksha (पक्ष) or Pak or Pakh means Fortnight (Lunar Fortnight)
  • Shradhha (श्राद्ध, also known as Tarpan / तर्पण) means offering made to the manes / soul of any deceased person. This includes providing food to needy people and Brahmans; watering Peepal tree; and offerings prayers to ancestors.

The period from 20th Sep/21st Sep to 6th Oct 2021 is Shardhha Paksh (श्राद्ध पक्ष). The offerings (Shardhha) is done on the tithi of deceased ancestor. For example, if an ancestor died on tritiya / 3rd Lunar day, his/her Shardhha is done on 3rd day during this period of Sharadhha Paksh. However, any day during the Shardhha Paksh can be taken as per convenience to pray for the deceased.

Few observes Shardhha (श्राद्ध) of people died on Full moon day (Purnima / पूर्णिमा) one day prior to the first day of Shardhha Paksh.

TITHI (As per auckland time)

  • 20th Sep: Purnima Shradhha पूर्णिमा श्राद्ध
  • 21st Sep: Pratipada / Ekam / Prathma tithi Shradhha (एकम श्राद्ध, 1st Lunar day of the fortnight). This day is also for maternal grand parents (Nana – Nani) if their death tithi is not known.
  • 22nd Sep: Dooj / Dwitiya tithi Shradhha (दूज / द्वितीया श्राद्ध, 2nd Lunar day)
  • 23rd Sept: Teej / Tritiya tithi Shradhha (तीज / तृतीया श्राद्ध, 3rd Lunar day).
  • 25th Sep: Chauth / Chaturthi Shradhha (चौथ / चतुर्थी श्राद्ध, 4th Lunar day).
  • 26th Sep: Paancham / Panchami Shradhha (पंचमी श्राद्ध, 5th Lunar day). This day is also for Shardhha of ancestors who were unmarried.
  • 27th Sep: Chat / Shishti / Shashthi Shradhha (छठ / षष्ठी श्राद्ध, 6th Lunar day)
  • 28th Sep: Saatam / Saptami Shradhha (सप्तमी श्राद्ध, 7th Lunar day)
  • 29th Sep: Aatham / Ashtami Shradhha (अष्टमी श्राद्ध, 8th Lunar day)
  • 30th Sep: Num / Navmi Shradhha (नवमी श्राद्ध, 9th Lunar day). This day is also for Mother’s Shradhha. (Matru Navmi)
  • 1st Oct: Dasam / Dashmi Shradhha (दशमी श्राद्ध, 10th Lunar day)
  • 2nd Oct: Agyaras / Ekadashi Shradhha (अग्यारस / एकादशी श्राद्ध, 11th Lunar day)
  • 3rd Oct: Baras / Dwadashi Shradhha (बारस / द्वादशी  श्राद्ध, 12th Lunar day) / Magha Shradhha. This days is also for Shraddha for those who had taken renunciation (संन्यास) before death.
  • 4th Oct: Teras / Triyodashi Shradhha (तेरस / त्रयोदशी श्राद्ध, 13th Lunar day) Also to perform Shradhha of those who died at early / very early age / children.
  • 5th Oct: Chaudas / Chaturdashi (चौदस / चतुर्दशी श्राद्ध, 14th Lunar day). Sharadhha of those who had tragic death like (murdered, committed suicide, killed by weapon, accident).  Shardhha of family members who died on Chaturdashi other than these reasons are usually performed on next day (Sarva Pitru Amavasya).
  • 6th Oct: Amavasya / Sarva Pitru Amavasya (सर्व पित्रृ श्राद्ध, No moon day). For those who died on Amavasya (No moon day), Purnima (Full moon day) or Chaturdashi (14th Lunar day / Chaudas) or if the tithi of ancestor is not known or if missed any ancestor of the above Sharadhha offerings.

More about Pitru Paksh / Pitar Pak श्राद्ध पक्ष

Pitru Paksha is also known as Apara paksha, Jitiya, Kanagat, Pitru Pakshya, Pitri Pokkho , Pitar Pakh, Pitar Pak, Sola Shraddha.

Cleanliness is expected to be maintained while making the food and offering it to the ancestors.

There are lots of misconceptions about Shardhha Paksha or Pitar Pakh. We believe, this is the period to remember our loved once who have passed away. Let us take out some time from our busy schedule to perform prayers and do some charity. The rituals like watering trees and giving food to animals / birds etc are believed to be made to ensure that we take care of nature (Mother Earth).

Tarpan and prayers are organized in most of the temples across New Zealand. Click here for list of temples in New Zealand

More about Pitru Paksh