Pitr Paksha or Mahalay Paksha is the dark fortnight which falls during the Hindu calendar months of Ashvin and Bhadrapad (September to October). According to the Hindu mythology, during Pitr Paksha deceased ancestors from Lord Yamaraja s region visit their homes on Earth.
This fortnight is a time for performing rites, Shradh, to deceased ancestors to keep their souls gratified for years. It is obligatory in Hindu tradition for a son to perform Shradh for their ancestors as it is a form of paying regards to them.
It is also believed that whatever offering is made during this time, directly reaches to one’s forefathers. It is only after the Shradh, that a son attains a position among the Petris or Divine Fathers in their blissful abode called Pitri-loka
The Hindu festival Pitr Paksha 2012 starts on Sunday, 30th September and lasts a fortnight until Monday, 15th October.