One of my favorite things about the Indian culture is the vast amount of traditions, ceremonies and customs that are sprinkled throughout the year to honor the gods, our ancestors and the divinity within ourselves. Today marks the first day of Shraddh (Sept 5-19), a two-week period dedicated to honoring our ancestors.
The traditions that make up Shraddh are steeped in so much love and faith. It’s not only a time that brings loved ones together; cooking family favorites, praying together and walking down memory lane to honor parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles…but it reminds us how precious our time here on earth is.
Honoring our ancestors
The Vedas say, during this two-week period of Shraddh, anything we do in terms of feeding the poor, doing extra spiritual practices (mantras and prayers), making charitable donations to food banks, schools, or the less fortunate, helps that particular souls evolution and journey to God. Depending on the date on the Indian lunar calendar that your loved one passed away, that is the day that you do any or all of these acts of kindness in their name…addition to cooking their favorite foods and sharing a meal with your loved ones.
Walking each other home
I’ve come to find a lot of comfort in these rituals–especially since my Dad passed away. Tomorrow, my family will be coming together to honor and celebrate his memory by sharing some of his favorite foods and saying a few prayers for his soul. I have faith that wherever he is…he will feel the peace, love and offerings we’re sending to him and journey home, because as Baba Ramdass once wisely said, “We’re all just walking each other home…”.
Do you have any cultural customs or family traditions to honor your ancestors? I’d love to hear about them…leave me a comment below!
Lots of love,
p.s. We usually donate here and earmark the donation to go towards medical funds + donate food to the local food bank in our town.