Navratri 2020: Significance, Date and Puja Timings for Ashtami
Navratri 2020: Date and Puja Timings: The eighth day of Navratri is called as Ashtami. Devotees celebrate this special day in many different ways in different parts of the country.
Navratri 2020: Date and Puja Timings: Navratri, the nine-day Hindu festival is here. Ashtami is the eighth day of Navratri. Temples have reopened in many parts of India with strict social distancing norms in place. People who cannot visit temples are celebrating at home. The opportune time marks Goddess Durga's origin on earth. It is believed that Goddess Durga is between her devotees during these nine days. Early morning people worship the nine forms of the Goddess and offer prasad. Some devotees also observe the Navratri fast for these nine days. Ashtami is celebrated in different ways in different parts of our country. This year Ashtami would fall on 24th October 2020.
Date and Puja Timings for Ashtami
Ashtami Tithi Begins - 06:57 AM on Oct 23, 2020
Ashtami Tithi Ends - 06:58 AM on Oct 24, 2020
Significance of Ashtami
Several puja rituals are followed on Ashtami. On this day many Hindu families hold Kanjak or Kanya Puja or Kanya bhoj. Devotees invite nine young girls to their house and serve them a delicious meal of puri, halwa and kala chana. These girls are believed as avatars of Goddess Durga herself. The host washes the feet of the girls and ties a red holy thread on the wrist, also known as molli. Small gifts are also distributed among the girls like pencil box, clips and water bottles.
In Bengal, the festive spirit is on the peak on the Durga Ashtami. Durga Ashtami is considered as the most auspicious day of these five days Shashti, Saptami, Ashtami, Navami and Dashmi. On this day a special Sandhi puja is also carried out. Hundred and eight earthen lamps are lit, and Goddess Durga is offered 108 lotus flowers and bilwa leaves also. The legends say that on this day Goddess Kali appeared out of Goddess Durga's third eye on her forehead in anger when she saw demon king Mahishasura breaking rules of the battle.