Mahalaya Torpon, Tharpanam on Mahalaya Amavasya is an auspicious ritual related to dead ancestors. In 2016, Mahalaya Torpon date is September 30.
Mahalaya Torpon is a very significant ritual in Bengali culture. Mahalaya marks the beginning of Devi Paksha and the end of Pitru Paksha. It also marks the traditional countdown of six days to Maha Saptami day.
It is also believed that on this day which marks the onset of Devi Paksha, Goddess Durga begins her journey towards earth from her heavenly abode.
On this day devotees throng to the banks of Ganga river and offer tharpan rituals to theri dead relatives and forefathers. People perform Punya Snana in Ganga on this day before starting the tharpan. The eldest son is the most eligible to perform Shraddha. The number of generations to whom the performers offer Shraddha rituals may vary depending upon the caste they belong to.
Rice, grains, vegetables, kheer, etc poured on banana leaves are offered to dead ancestors. On this day, Go pooja (worship of cow) charity of food to needy and donating Dakshina to the Brahmins are meritorious deeds.