The nine-day festival Navratri commenced on 29th September and would conclude on 7th October 2019. Durga Ashtami, also known as Maha Ashtami, Maha Durgashtami is one of the most important occasions of Durga Puja. On this auspicious day, devotees worship Goddess Durga as Mahisasuramardini. It is believed that Mahisasuramardini was the Annihilator of the Buffalo Demon. It is said that on the day of Durga Ashtami, Maa Durga killed evil demon Mahishasura. Ashtami is the eighth day of Navratri is dedicated to Goddess Mahagauri.
Durga Ashtami festival begins with Mahasnan and Shodashopachar Puja which is quite similar to Maha Saptami Puja. The festival falls on 6th October 2019 and people celebrate this festival with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm.
On this day, many people observe ritualistic vrat as a mark of respect to the deity. Some people also do Kanya Puja or Kanjak. They invite nine young girls and one boy to their home and wash their feet with water. These girls are then served a prasad of halwa, poori and black chana. They are also given cute gifts like clips, tiffin box, money, etc. These nine girls are seen as the embodiment of Durga. Some people observe kanjak on the ninth day of Navratri, or Navami.
According to Drikpanchang, Ashtami tithi begins – 09:51 AM on Oct 05, 2019 and ends – 10:54 AM on Oct 06, 2019. Sandhi puja muhurat is from 10:30 AM to 11:18 AM.
Listen to this Maha Ashtami Mantra: