first-year shraddha rituals

The Complete Guide to First-Year Shraddha Rituals

Last updated on June 20th, 2024

Table of Contents

The first-year shraddha rituals are an important part of Hindu mourning traditions observed in India and abroad. The demise of a friend or family member is significantly horrendous for any family.

 In India, customs and functions assume a significant part in assisting grievers with adapting to misfortune. One such critical custom is the first-year shraddha rituals, otherwise called barsi. This article explores the meaning and regional variations of this important Hindu and Indian tradition.

Funeral services and cremation services assume a huge part in completing the last customs and assisting the family with tracking down conclusion during troublesome seasons of misfortune.

Understanding First-Year Shraddha Rituals

The term “shraddha” originates from Sanskrit and represents the concepts of faith and devotion. According to Hindu and general Indian traditions, shraddha rituals are held to honor deceased family members and ancestors. 

They aim to express gratitude while also helping the souls of those who have passed away to find inner peace. The shraddha ceremony carried out after the first-year sharddha rituals holds a particular meaning. It signifies that a full year has now gone by since the death of the person being remembered.

The Meaning of the First-Year Shraddha

The first year after losing someone is difficult emotionally. The first-year shraddha rituals allows family members to gather, share their grief, and honor the deceased. This remembrance helps mourners cope with their loss and find solace in believing their loved one’s soul is at peace.

How the First-Year Shraddha Rituals Are Conducted? 

First-year shraddha rituals are performed with love and follow traditions specific to the region and family. Some typical rituals include:

  • Date Selection: The ceremony date matches the Hindu lunar calendar date of death. 
  • Preparations: The home is cleaned and a sacred space is prepared with decorations.
  • Pinda Daan: Symbolic offerings are made to appease the soul.
  • Priest Feeding: Priests oversee rituals and are honored with meals.  
  • Remembrance: Families share memories and emotions.
  • Charity: Poor are often fed in the deceased’s memory.

Regional Variations

  • Practices and Rituals: Specific rituals and practices differ regionally. 
  • Customs and Traditions: Local customs and traditions influence the ceremony.
  • Faith and Family: Rituals vary according to faith and family preferences.

Belo are some more details about the regional variations in first-year Shraddha rituals observed in different parts of India:

North India

  • Rituals include feeding Brahmins, tarpan (water offerings), and prayers near a sacred fire called a homa kunda. 
  • In Hindu families of Punjab, a community feast is arranged and khichdi is often served.

West India

  • In Gujarat, rituals are performed near a banyan tree and prayers are offered to family gods and goddesses.
  • Maharashtrian ceremonies include tarpan at a holy river followed by a community meal. 

East India

  •  In Bengal, rituals are performed under a neem tree and involves prayers, tarpan and feeding fish.
  • Odisha ceremonies include paying respects at a salagrama (sacred stone) and prayers at a banyan tree.

South India  

  • Tamil rituals involve prayers near a tulsi plant with priests chanting hymns and annadanam (community meals).
  •  In Kerala, a ritual bath is given to a tulasi plant and prayers are said under a jackfruit tree.

Central India

  • Madhya Pradesh ceremonies involve prayers near a sacred banyan or peepal tree along with tarpan.
  • Food items like kheer and desserts are an integral part of rituals in Chhattisgarh.

To be precise, rituals vary widely across regions with different plants, trees, rites and food traditions unique to local cultures and faith practices.

How could families living abroad track down priests to lead Shraddha customs for their benefit?

The following are a couple of ways families living abroad can sort out for clerics to direct Shraddha customs for their sake:

  • Contact nearby Hindu/Indian affiliations: Numerous urban communities have affiliations that keep up with contacts of clerics who can perform functions from a distance.
  • Ask contacts in India: Companions/family members back home might know believed ministers who offer intermediary ceremonial administrations.
  • Search online indexes: Sites of significant sanctuaries list contact subtleties of partnered clerics, some of whom lead virtual ceremonies.
  • Utilize custom/puja booking applications: Applications and sites like Kaashimukthi permit choosing dates, customs and paying on the web for intermediary services.
  • Contact neighborhood Hindu sanctuaries: Close by Hindu sanctuaries probably have references for voyaging clerics or realize local people are open to such tasks.
  • Employ experienced live-streaming clerics: Particular ministers capable in virtual customs can be reserved to live-stream services.
  • Send cash/directions: Compare subtleties, give assets to assigned ministers and guarantee customs are done suitably.

Having customs directed through a solid, alluded minister assists find with closuring in spite of actual distance. Clear directions and approving subsidizes ahead of time permits agreeable recognition of precursors.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the significance of the first-year Shraddha rituals?

The first-year Shraddha rituals marks the completion of the first year since the person’s death. It allows grieving families to remember the deceased and find solace in believing their soul has attained peace. 

2. How is the date for the ceremony determined?

The date usually corresponds to the Hindu lunar calendar date of death. It’s important to consult priests or pandits to pinpoint the exact tithi (lunar day).

3 What are some typical rituals performed?

Rituals generally include pinda daan (symbolic offerings), priest feeding, puja (prayers and offerings), sharing memories, community meals, and activities like feeding the poor.

4. Can anyone participate in the ceremony?

Yes, family members, friends and community members are welcome to attend the ceremony to support the grieving family and honor the deceased together.

5. Do rituals vary regionally in India?

Yes, rituals differ based on local customs, traditions, and faith practices. Aspects like rites, food, trees/plants used can vary widely across North, West, East, South and Central parts of India.

6. Are there exemptions given to families living abroad? 

Sometimes priests can offer prayers or conduct sacred ceremonies on behalf of families unable to travel to India due to living abroad or other commitments.

7. Can Shraddha rituals be conducted on other anniversaries as well?

While the first-year shraddha rituals are most important, rituals are also commonly performed on the 3rd, 6th, and 12th year death anniversaries as called for by scriptures and priests.


First-year shraddha rituals are meaningful ways for families to honor and remember loved ones. They provide an opportunity to grieve together and ensure the deceased is remembered with love. As life gets busy, upholding traditions becomes important. Comprehensive funeral services and cremation services help give departed souls the respect they deserve during difficult times.

Kaashimukthi is a funeral services provider based in India that assists grieving families by arranging the entire funeral process from rites to cremation burial with compassion and care.

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