Mahalaya Durga Puja is an auspicious occasion which marks the beginning of Durga Puja celebrations. Though, officially and traditionally Durga Puja starts on Maha Sashti and Saptami, Mahalaya ushers Durga Puja. Mahalaya Durga Puja 2011 date is September 27. ‘Mahishasura Mardhini’ is worshipped during night on Mahalaya Amavasya. It is observed 7 days before to symbolize the advent of Goddess Durga. These rituals represent the invitation to the Supreme Goddess to descend on the Earth.
Mahalaya Tarpan or Torpon is the main ritual of the day. Devotees perform ‘Tarpan’ along the banks of River Ganga. They offer special rites and rituals to dead ancestors and forefathers. Tarpan starts early in the morning and continues till midday.
Mahalaya Amavasya is observed as Pitru Amavasya or Shraddh Amavasya in other parts of India. It also marks the initiation of Durga Navratri.