Mahalaya (English: Mahalaya, also known as Mahalaya New Moon) is a religious festival in the state of Odisha, India. This is a ritual performed by Hindus to please their ancestors. The shraddha held during the Mahalaya menstruation is called the ‘Mahalaya Shraddha’, the ‘Sambatsari Shraddha’ or the ‘Parvan Shraddha’ or the ‘Mula Shraddha’.
The first part of the month of Ashwin is known as the “Father’s Day”. The new moon on this side is known as the “Mahalaya New Moon”. It is also called the “Father’s Day” because of the sacrifices and offerings made to the ancestors. Fifteen days from the month of Bhadrava to the Krishna Paksha Pratipada to the New Moon are called the patriarchs. After the offerings are made to the fourteenth, the mass is offered on the day of the new moon. The new moon that falls while the Sun is in Virgo is the Mahalaya new moon. In the Tarpan of Mahalaya Shraddha, Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Prajapati, Acharya, Veda, Chhand, Gandharvaganas, Devas, Purunacharya, Sambatsar, Shabyab, Nagaganas, Yaksha, Vaksha, Vishach, Banaspati, Medicina, Bhutgram, One Goddess ; Seven sages, such as Sanat, Sananda, Sanatan, Kapil, Asuri, Dobu, and Panchasikh, are twice sacrificed to Tarpan and their ancestors to Tarpan three times. In the patriarchal tradition, the father is imagined as Rudra, the grandfather as Basur, and the great-grandfather as Aditya. It is called Mahalaya Shraddha because of the presence of Sarvadev, Rusi, and ancestors in the mass of the devotees. The month of Bhadrav is called the patriarchal month, so one can pay homage on any of these 15 days from the Krishna Pak Pratipada. On the day of Mahalaya, the “Dashahara Balad Yatra” begins in Bhubaneswar under Dhenkanal district of Odisha. On this day, Samaleshwari of Sambalpur becomes “white-faced.”
Mahalaya is the best of the various shraddha rituals performed for the ancestors in the Hindu religious tradition. On this occasion, the ancestors are given Shraddha and Brahmin meals on their father’s behalf on any given day. It is believed that this benefits virtue and improves all generations of the northern generation. Legend has it that Mahadani Karna received gold and silver in Yampur as a gift of charity. However, no food was provided. Because, he had never donated food in his lifetime. He prayed to Yamraj for fourteen days and gave food to the Brahmins and the poor. Upon his return to Yampur, he was no longer deprived of food. Those fourteen days of cutting off the ears of the dead were the patriarchs.
Massage is performed on the Baishi steps in the big temple. Like Jagannath, during the Dashahara, various costumes of Ma Samaleshwari are celebrated. Which begins on the date of Mahalaya in white. It is believed that seeing this miraculous costume of the goddess results in the bathing of the Ganges. The people of western Odisha pay homage to the goddess Samaleshwari, who looks like an alternative, as there is a Ganges bath ritual after giving a mass to the deceased ancestors on the tenth month.