Durga Ashtami also known as ‘Maha Ashtami’ is an important Hindu ritual dedicated to Goddess Shakti. It is observed on the ‘ashtami’ (8th day) of the ‘Shukla Paksha’ (the bright fortnight of moon) of every lunar month. On this day the weapons of Goddess Durga are worshiped and the celebration is known as ‘Astra Puja’. This day is also popularly referred as ‘Virashtami’ owing to the display of arms and other forms of martial arts. Hindu devotees offer prayers to Goddess Durga and keep a strict fast to seek Her divine blessings. Durga Ashtami Vrat is observed with complete devotion in the northern and western regions of India. In some regions of Andhra Pradesh, Durga Ashtami is celebrated as ‘Bathukamma Panduga’. Durga Ashtami Vrat is a significant observance for followers of Hinduism.

Next Durga Ashtami Vrat Date in 2018 : July 20 Friday

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Goddess Durga

Goddess Durga

Rituals during Durga Ashtami Vrat:

  • On the day of Durga Ashtami, devotees pray to Goddess Durga. They get up early in the morning and make several offerings to Goddess in the form of flowers, chandan and dhoop. In some places, Kumari Puja is also performed on the day of Durga Ashtami Vrat. Hindus worship girls aged between 6-12 years as the Kanya (virgin) form of Goddess Durga. Special ‘Naivedyam’ is prepared for offering to the Goddess.
  • Fasting is an important ritual of the day. the observer of Durga Ashtami Vrat abstains from eating or drinking all through the day. the fast is observed by men and women alike. the Durga Ashtami Vrat is observed to acquire spiritual gains and seek the blessings of Goddess Durga. Some devotees keep the fast by drinking only milk or eating fruits. Consuming non-vegetarian food and alcohol is strictly prohibited on this day. the observer of the Durga Ashtami Vrat must sleep on the floor and keep away from the comforts and luxuries.
  • In some regions of western India there is also a custom of sowing barley seeds. After the seeds reach a height of 3-5 inches they are offered to the Goddess and later distributed among all family members.
  • Devotees chant various Devi mantras on this day. It is also considered rewarding to read Durga Chalisa on this day. At the end of puja, devotees also read the Durga Ashtami Vrat katha.
  • Hindu devotees provide food and santarpana or dakshina to Brahmins after completing the puja rituals.
  • The observer of Durga Ashtami Vrat visit Shakti temples in the evening. Special pujas are conducted on the day of Mahashtami that is witnessed by thousands of devotees.

Important Timings On Durga Ashtami Vrat

Ashtami Tithi Timing 13:36 PM - 13:19 PM
Place : Ujjain [ India ] Time Zone : IST (+05:30)

Significance of Durga Ashtami Vrat:

In Sanskrit language the word ‘durga’ means ‘undefeatable’ and ‘ashtami’ signifies ‘eight day’. According to the Hindu legends the fierce and powerful form of Goddess Durga, known as ‘Goddess Bhadrakali’ was incarnated. The day of Durga Ashtami is celebrated as the victory of Goddess Durga over the demon named ‘Mahishasura’. It is believed that one who observes the Durga Ashtami Vrat with full dedication will be bestowed with happiness and good fortune in their lives.

All Durga Ashtami Vrat dates in 2018 and Ashtami Tithi Timing

25 January (Thursday) Durga Ashtami Vrat 24 16:16 PM - 25 15:13 PM
23 February (Friday) Durga Ashtami Vrat 23 02:28 AM - 24 00:43 AM
24 March (Saturday) Durga Ashtami Vrat 24 10:06 AM - 25 08:02 AM
23 April (Monday) Durga Ashtami Vrat 22 16:17 PM - 23 14:16 PM
22 May (Tuesday) Durga Ashtami Vrat 21 22:13 PM - 22 20:31 PM
20 June (Wednesday) Durga Ashtami Vrat 20 04:58 AM - 21 03:51 AM
20 July (Friday) Durga Ashtami Vrat 19 13:36 PM - 20 13:19 PM
18 August (Saturday) Durga Ashtami Vrat 18 01:01 AM - 19 01:47 AM
17 September (Monday) Durga Ashtami Vrat 16 15:54 PM - 17 17:44 PM
17 October (Wednesday) Durga Ashtami Vrat 16 10:16 AM - 17 12:50 PM
16 November (Friday) Durga Ashtami Vrat 15 07:04 AM - 16 09:40 AM
15 December (Saturday) Durga Ashtami Vrat 15 04:16 AM - 16 06:13 AM
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