Pitru Paksha, The Time To Feed Our Ancestors

Traditions and customs are some things Indians have always been proud of. As important as ancestry is to Hinduism, it is given equal consideration to pay homage to our forefathers who are no longer with us. The Shraadh or Pitru Paksha begins with the Hindu lunar month, Bhadhrapa (September) on a full moon day and continues for a fifteen-day period during which food offerings are made in remembrance of one's ancestors. On its final day—also known as Sarvapitri Amavasya or Mahalaya, the most important Tarpan is conducted to bring about tranquilly for the ancestors' souls.  

Also known as Shraddha Paksha, this time is revered as a time to express gratitude to our deceased forefathers' souls. This month sees many dietary restrictions at this time for both scientific and spiritual significance. It is recommended that people avoid eating anything tamasic. For scientific reasons, most foods are advised against consumption, and the compounds the body produces after consuming tamasic foods can interfere with the concentration needed for pitru paksha rites. Due to the widespread belief that food given to priesthood Brahmins during the pitru paksha time is passed on to our ancestors, a special Satvik Bhojan is cooked and offered to them. Following the Pitru paksha guidelines and carrying out the shraddha rituals properly are strongly advised for the observer. Since many people participate in this tradition, we've compiled a list of some foods to avoid during this time.

Non-vegetarian Food

In any Hindu ritual, eating non-vegetarian food is strictly forbidden. Eating meat or any other non-vegetarian food is also prohibited during Shradh.

Onion and Garlic

You may be aware that in Ayurveda, onion is considered Tamasic and garlic is considered Rajasic. These two vegetables should be kept out of the reach and away from anyone performing rituals as they may increase body heat. However, bear in mind that certain ayurveda experts have cautioned against consuming foods high in tamasic compounds, such as onions, during the Shradh period.

Raw Grains

The holy Shradh season forbids the consumption of raw grains. As a result, it is advised to avoid eating rice, lentils, and wheat at this time. The consumption of these foods raw is prohibited. Potatoes, arbi, and radish are also off restricted as vegetables.


Anyone performing the Shradh rites is not allowed to eat Masoor Dal in addition to the items that were previously mentioned. When avoiding Masoor Dal, you should also stay away from chickpeas and split lentils. Also to be avoided are Chane Sattu and Black Urad Dal.

The ceremony, however practised differently by each individual, generally entails a number of disciplinary actions, the most significant of which is a stringent eating regimen that forbids the consumption of any junk food, onions, garlic, or non-vegetarian foods. These foods are regarded as inauspicious or ashudh. The meal offered as an honor to the ancestors is traditionally prepared in silver or copper pots and usually served on a banana leaf or in cups made of dried leaves. Kheer or other beans, rice, dal, the vegetable of spring bean (guar), and a yellow gourd (pumpkin), are often required to be included in the meal.