In Hinduism, every month has a special significance. When it comes to performing shradh ceremonies of the ancestors, Piru Paksha or Mahalaya Paksha is the most auspicious period. This time stretches over sixteen days from Purnima to Amavasya in the month of Bhadrapada (August – September). During this period, shradh for the ancestors can be performed on the respective tithis in which they died irrespective of the month and the paksha in which they departed. It is commonly believed that all the ancestors in the pitru lok visit their descendants on the earth during this period to accept their offerings through shradh and tarpan.
This year, Dwadashi shradha falls on Saturday, 6th October 2018.
Since Trayodashi is also born on the same day, some people also perform the Trayodashi (thirteenth day of the lunar month) shradh also on this day.
Dwadashi is the twelfth day in a lunar month both during the waxing phase and the waning phase. During pitru Paksha, Dwadashi Shradha is meant for performing the shradh of the ancestors who died during Dwadashi tithi. On this day, shradh is also performed to people who died after taking sanyasa (renunciation). The other name of Dwadashi shradh is Baras shradh.
Importance of Pitru paksha shradh
There are several reasons why Hindu scriptures attach a lot of importance to the Pitru Paksha shradh. Hinduism strongly believes in life after death. The souls enter the ancestral world (Pitru lok) after leaving the world and stay there up to three generations. During the Pitru Paksha period, the departed ancestors visit their descendants on the earth to receive the offerings they give through shradh and tarpan. Therefore performing shradh during this period is highly auspicious.