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.
Ashtami is the holy festival celebrated during Durga Puja. Here are Maha Ashtami 2023 date puja rituals and celebration ideas for the day.
Maha Ashtami 2023 Date – Durga Ashtami
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 2023 Ashtami falls on 22nd 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 2023 Date & Time
Ashtami Tithi Begins – October 21, 9:53 PM
Ashtami Tithi Ends – October 22, 7:59 PM
Maha Ashtami 2023 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.
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.
This is a puja that is done in the last 24 minutes of 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.
Also Read: Importance of Durga Puja
Maha Ashtami holds an great significance in Navratri and on this day Maa Durga gets victory over the buffalo demon Mahishasura.
Ashtami in 2023 is on 22nd October were Maha Gauri is worshipped an 8th form of Durga Mata.
The Maha Ashtami begins on october 21 at 9:53 PM and ends on October 22 at 7:59 PM.
Maha Ashtami is an special day to start any new work or business.
Pink or purple – associated with love, kindness and femininity and good to wear on Ashtami.