Maha Ashtami 2024

11 October 2024
All States    Regional holiday

Durga Ashtami or Maha Ashtami is one of the most auspicious days of the Nine days long Durga Puja Festival. Traditionally, the festival is observed for 10 days in all Indian households but, the actual puja that takes place in the pandals is held over a period of 5 days (starting from Shashti). In India fasting is undertaken by many people on this holy occasion. People also get together on this day to dance Garba and wear colourful clothes. This day is also known for Astra Puja (Worshiping Weapons) as on this day the weapons of Goddess Durga are worshipped. The day is also known as Vira Ashtami as there are seen to use arms or martial arts on this day.

The eighth day of Navratri or Durga Puja celebrations is known as Durgashtami or Durga Ashtami. It is also known as Maha Ashtami and is one of the most auspicious days according to Hinduism. It falls on bright lunar fortnight Ashtami tithi of Aswin month according to the Hindu calendar. It is believed in some regions, the Goddess Chamunda appeared on this day from the forehead of Mother Durga and annihilated Chanda, Munda, and Rakthabija (the demons who were associates of Mahishasura). The 64 Yoginis and Ashta Shakti or matrikas (the eight ferocious form of Goddess Durga) are worshipped during the Durga Puja rituals on Mahashtami. The Ashta Sati, also known as Eight Shaktis, are interpreted differently in different regions of India. But ultimately, all the eight goddesses are incarnations of Shakti. They are the same powerful Divine Feminine representing different energies. The Ashta Shakti worshipped during Durga Puja are Brahmani, Maheswari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Narasinghi, Indrani and Chamunda.