The eighth day of Chaitra Navaratri is celebrated as Durga Ashtami, also known as Maha Ashtami. An auspicious day, the ‘ashtami’ (8th day) of the ‘Shukla Paksha’ (the bright fortnight of moon) of every lunar month is dedicated to Goddess Durga. Durga Ashtami 2018 falls on March 25, Sunday with devotees observing a fast to seek blessings of Maa Durga, the divine power. On Maha Ashtami, Goddess Mahagauri is worshipped on the eighth day of Navratri. Apart from Chaitra Navaratri being marked by fasting and abstinence according to Shubh Muhurat Time and Puja Vidhi, the worshippers also send Happy Durga Ashtami messages, WhatsApp GIFs, SMSes, Maha Ashtami images to family and friends.

The eighth day of Chaitra Navratri 2018 is dedicated to Goddess Mahagauri, where worshipping this avatar of Goddess Durga is considered auspicious. On this day, coconut is offered in the form of bhog to please the deity. For prasad, you can also make coconut ladoo or barfi. Apart from this, traditional fare of poori, chana and halwa are prepared on this day.

Sandhi puja is done at a point of time when Ashtami tithi ends and Navmi tithi starts. This puja has a special significance during the festival of Navratri. For those who don’t know what a sandhi puja is, well, it is done on those Navratre when, according to the panchang, the festivities are just for eight days instead of nine. Usually, during such navratres, Ashtami and Naumi fall on the same day. So, sandhi puja is done at that time when, as per the tithi, ashtami ends and naumi begins. It is very important for those who have fasted throughout Navratre. The sandhi puja would last for about 47 minutes, starting from 07:38am to 08:26am on 25th March 2018.