Maha Ashtami 2021: Significance, Date & Timings
New Delhi: The eighth day of the auspicious Hindu festival of Navratri is called Ashtami. Ashtami, also known as Durga Ashtami, will be celebrated on October 13 (Wednesday).
It falls on bright lunar fortnight Ashtami tithi of Aswina month according to the Hindu calendar.
Durga Ashtami or Maha Ashtami is one of the most auspicious days of the five days long Durga Puja Festival.
Ashtami 2021 Significance
Ashtami celebrations begin with mahasnan or a grand bath to rid oneself of impurities. This ritual is followed by installing nine small pots to invoke nine Shaktis of goddess Durga and then they are worshipped during Mahashtami puja. Devotees also offer goddess Mahagauri with yellow flowers, halwa, puri and black chickpeas. One can wear yellow or white clothes while worshipping the goddess.
During the aarti, 108 earthen lamps are lit to appease the goddess and seek her blessings.
A tradition associated with Durga Ashtami originated in North India is to honor the kanyaka in the home. A group of young, unmarried girls (a group of five to seven) are invited into the home to honor them. The tradition is based on the belief that each of these young girls (kanyaka), represents the shakti (energy) of Durga on Earth. The group of girls are welcomed by washing their feet (a common ceremony in India to welcome someone), welcoming them into the home, and then the rituals are done as Alati and Puja. After the rituals the girls are fed sweets and foods and honored with small gifts.
Ashtami 2021 Tithi
The Ashtami tithi will begin at 9.57 pm on October 12 and will end at 8.07 pm on October 13.