Dos and Don’ts during Shraadhs- ‘The mourning period’

Shraadh period is observed in every part of the country including Jammu wherein Dogras perform all the rituals in a proper manner. This mourning period is usually utilized to pay respect and homage to ancestors. The literary meaning of the word “Shraadh” is “anything done with faith and sincerity”. This 16 day mourning period begins on the last full moon day of the Hindu calendar in the month of Bhadrapad. As per the traditions, the particular day of the Shraadh is decided by the family priest by analyzing the death anniversary of the ancestor whose Shraadh has to be performed. As an hour to the dead, the eldest member of the family performs the rites and rituals by conducting pooja in the house and preparing special Satvik food. It is said that while performing all these rituals, one needs to focus on three main aspects which includes complete devotion in the task, watchfulness and control over anger. Once the rituals are performed, the prasaad is often fed to dogs, cats and birds etc. There are few things which are required to be kept in consideration during this mourning period. 1) Don’t refuse for food or water to stranger Since, most of the people that the ancestors can visit our homes in any form after death so it is said that one shouldn’t refuse to offer food and water to strangers. 2) Consume only satvik food As per the Hindu mythology, people must refrain from eating meat and other products during this mourning period including onion and garlic. 3) Shaving hair and cutting nails It is often said that people should not indulge in grooming activities like cutting hair and nails during Shraadhs as it is prohibited as per rituals. 4) Refrain from purchasing new things Buying new things like clothes, jewelry or household items often symbolizes celebration hence in order to pay respects to the ancestors, people refrain from purchasing new items. The true intent for performing this ritual is to become more conscious about life and have a certain amount of respect and admiration for your elders.

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