Avidhavā-navamī-śrāddha

(‘obsequial rites to a dead non-widow, on the ninth day’)

Married Hindu ladies cherish death before that of their husbands. Such ladies are called ‘avidhavās’ or ‘non-widows.’ The śrāddha or obsequial rite for such women is performed on the ninth day during the dark half of the month Bhādrapada (corresponding roughly to September) by their sons or younger male relatives. One of the specialities of this rite is that not only a brāhmaṇa but also married ladies whose husbands are alive, are invited, fed and given presents. The rite generally ceases to be performed when their husbands die.