Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Sept. 16 : Devotees on Friday took a holy dip in Ganga River at Varanasi's Brijghat on the occasion of 'Pitru Paksha Shradh'.
The priests performed rituals on the banks of the river and chanted hymns as the devotees offered prayers and sought blessings.
Pitru Paksha, also called fortnight for the ancestors, is a 16-lunar day period and falls in the Hindu lunar month of Bhadrapada (September-October), beginning with the full moon day (Purnima) that occurs immediately after the Ganesh Chaturthi festival and ends with the new moon day.
The first day of the period is marked by lunar eclipse. During eclipses, devout Hindus prefer taking bath in the holy rivers. Those who perform the ritual believe that this rite will deliver salvation to departed souls. During this festival, the ritual of Pind-daan is performed which is a must-to-do obligation for all Hindus or followers of Hindu religion.
Hindus also believe that no work can be successfully performed without the blessings of their ancestors or by performing the Pind Daan.