Mahalaya marks beginning of Durga Puja

Mahalaya marks the beginning of the ten-day festival and the end of the Pitri Paksha or Shraadh.

Durgotsava

Durga Puja-Durgotsava-Navaratri is the annual Hindu festival that is celebrated in the Indian subcontinent in the month of September or October.
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Goddess Durga

The nine-day festival celebrates Goddess Durga in her nine forms.

Other Hindu gods Ganesha and Kartikeya are also worshipped during the festival.
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Victory of Good over evil

The festival celebrates the glory of Goddess Durga. It marks the victory of Goddess Durga against the powerful demon Mahishasura.
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Mahalaya

Mahalaya marks the beginning of the ten-day Durga pooja festival.
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end of the Pitri Paksha

Mahalaya marks the beginning of the ten-day festival and the end of the Pitri Paksha or Shraadh.

The end of the shraadh period is also an auspicious time for male descendants of a family to take a holy dip into the river.

The holy bath is taken in the name of deceased ancestors. (Others)