GAYA, BIHAR, INDIA, October 14, 2012 (ANI): Hindu devotees lit earthen lamps over the weekend as an obligatory duty ahead of the annual ancestor worshipping ritual of Pind Daan, which falls during the Pitr-Paksha period (16-lunar day period as per Hindu calendar). Pitr-paksha generally falls in the month of September or October every year.
Devotees were seen lighting earthen lamps and then placing them in a water body as a mark of respect for their forefathers. Expressing their happiness, devotees in Gaya said they hope to enlighten their lives by paying homage to their ancestors through the ritual. "We all have gathered here to celebrate the festival of lights Deepavali in the memory of our ancestors after performing Pind Daan (ancestors' salvation ritual) for them. By lighting lamps in their memories we hope that our lives are also enlightened," said a Hindu devotee, Manish Agarwal.
According to traditional beliefs, the eldest son of a family performs Pind Daan and pays homage to their ancestors (Pitrs), especially through food offerings. People take holy dip in rivers and get their heads tonsured as a part of the ritual for the departed souls. The food is usually cooked in silver or copper vessels and placed on banana leaves. Devotees also expressed gratitude to their forefathers for inculcating ethics and social values in them.