What is the significance of Mahalaya?


Come autumn and everybody seems to get into the festive mode, which starts pretty much from today.
Mahalaya, which marks the beginning of Devi-Paksha and the end of the Pitri-Paksha (the Shradh or the mourning period) is an auspicious day for Bengalis, who celebrate it with much enthusiasm. Mahalaya is observed seven days before the Durga Puja.While there are one too many folklore associated with the occasion, the most famous is Mahalaya being an invitation of sorts to the mother goddess to begin her journey from Kailash to her paternal home (earth), along with her children. This invitation is extended through the chanting of mantras and singing devotional songs like Jago Tumi Jago and Bajlo Tomar Alor Benu.
This day also holds a special meaning for Hindus, who perform the ritual of Tarpan (offering). Men clad in dhotis go to the banks of the river Ganga and offer prayers to their deceased forefathers and perform pind-daan.In the 1930s, Mahalaya was first broadcast over the radio. Later, it was recorded and played during the day in the voice of Birendra Krishna Bhadra. The legendary narrator recites the holy verses and tells the story of the descent of Durga to earth in his unique style.
Since morning, Bengalis all over the world have been tweeting about it.

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