Durga Ashtami is celebrated on the eighth day of the bright fortnight in the month of Ashweyuja or Ashwin. Durga Ashtami will be observed on Aswayuja sukla paksha Ashtami. One of the most important days of the Sharad Navratri is Durga Ashtami. Durga Ashtami is the eighth day in Sharad Navratri festival.
The meaning of Durga is Undeafeatable.The common ritual of Durga Ashtami is worshipping of Goddess Durga. On Durga Ashtami Goddes Kali and 64 other Yoginis emerged from the forehead of Goddess Durga. Goddess Kali killed the demons Chanda, Munda and Rakta Beeja on Durga Ashtami.
Hence Durga Ashtami is also called as Veera Ashtami. Weapons of Goddess Durga are worshipped on Veera Ashatmi or Durga Ashtami. Durga Ashtami is also known as Maha Ashtami and Goddes kali is worshipped in some parts of the country.
Determination of Date
It is celebrated on Ashwin Shukla Ashtami connected with Navami covering atleast three muhurtas. If Ashtami falling on two days covers or does not cover three muhurtas then it is celebrated on first day only.
How to Celebrate
- You should have bath in the morning and clean your puja ghar.
- Then clean the Maa Durga idol or picture with water or a clean cloth.
- After cleaning, set your plate for worshiping, which shall include – incense (dhoop), deep (cotton balls dipped in ghee or oil), chunri, flowers, bindi, bangles and holy prasad.
- Now sprinkle the Gangajal to purify your house and ignite the diya.
- Now chant the ‘Durga Mantra’ 108 times
- After Durga Mantra, you must recite the Durga Chalisa and conclude the Pooja with Durga Aarti.
- After following the above mentioned procedure for pooja, you should invite 9 girls (of below 12 years of age) at your home and worship them.
- After worshiping them, you should feed them with food prepared for bhog and gift them with clothes or other things.