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Maha Ashtami 2021: Date, Significance, Puja, Rituals

Shardiya Navratri is a nine-day festival celebrated across India in different ways and traditions of the particular region are at the fore. In Gujarat, it is celebrated with nine nights of Garba dance. In West Bengal, it is known as Durga Puja. The eighth day of Shardiya Navratri is known as Maha Ashtami

Some regions like Kerala celebrate the last three days. Ghatasthapana is most common in nearly all areas of India. A decorated brass, copper, or mud pot filled with water is kept on a bed of rice, along with other auspicious items in the household puja room or place. A lamp is kept lit by its side for nine days and nights. Puja and worship with flowers etc are done here for nine days.

Maha Ashtami is the holy festival celebrated during Durga Puja. Here are Maha Ashtami 2021 date puja rituals and celebration ideas for the day.

Maha Ashtami 2021 Date – Durga Ashtami (Worship of Maha Gauri)

The eighth day of Shardiya Navratri is known as Maha Ashtami and the Mahagauri form of Durga Mata is worshipped on this day. This year in 2021 Maha Ashtami falls on  13th October. This is the second of the three most important days of Durga Puja. This is a part of the nine-day Navratri festival, but these three days are when elaborate pujas are done.

On this eight-day, the pujas and rituals are similar to those done on Maha Saptami. Only one of the rituals –  Pran Pratishtha is not repeated as it needs to be done only on the first day.

Maha Ashtami 2021 Auspicious Timings

Ashtami Tithi begins – 09:47 PM on 12.10.21

Ashtami Tithi ends –    08:07 PM on 13.10.21

Maha Ashtami 2021 Rituals


Nine plants are tied together and bathed with Gangaajal. Eight of these represent the Ashta Nayikas created by Durga Mata and the ninth is Durga Mata Herself.


This is the puja where a mirror reflecting Durga Mata’s image is bathed with Gangaajal and is referred to as Mahasnan. This is followed by Shodashopchar puja. 

Kumari Puja

In this ritual, nine pots representing the nine Shaktis are placed and the Goddess invoked. Nine girls below the age of ten are considered to be the Goddess and worshipped ritualistically. They are fed a lavish meal after the puja. In some regions, this ritual is done on all nine days of Navratri.

Sandhi Puja

This is a puja that is done in the last 24 minutes of Maha Ashtami and the first 24 minutes of Navami. This is considered a highly auspicious time and devotees light 108 lamps during this period.


Maha Ashtami is the eighth day of the nine-day celebrations during which people are filled with joy and gay abandon. They buy new clothes, gadgets, cars and whatever else they can afford. Mithais, lavish meals at homes or at the homes of friends and relatives are a part of these celebrations. Navratri and Durga Puja is a time when goodwill and brotherhood rule. Negativity and ill will take a back seat while people enjoy these days. 

Happy Maha Ashtami!

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