Pitru Paksha is a paksha (fortnight) dedicated to dead ancestors as per Hindu Scriptures. Pitru Devatas are also considered as Gods in Hinduism, a fortnight is dedicated for them to offer tribute by their children and grand children.
In 2012, Pitru Paksha Shraddh begins on September 30 with Pratipada Shraddh and ends on October 15 with Mahalaya Amavasya.
Pitru Paksha, also referred to as Mahalaya Paksha or Apara Paksha, starts on first day of Ashwin Month as per North Indian Hindi calendars.
It coincides with the first day of second fortnight in Bhadrapada Month of Marathi, Gujarati, Telugu and Kannada calendars.