Durga Ashtami falls on the 8th
day of Navratri, which is observed in the Sharad month of the Hindu calendar. Generally, Ashtami is observed every month during the Ashtami Tithi of Shukla Paksha, but the one that falls on the 8th
day of Sharad Navratri is of the highest importance. This is also the time when Bengalis celebrate Durga Puja, which is when they gather together in public and worship Goddess Durga.
This year, Navratri is to be celebrated from 1st
October, and Durga Ashtami is to fall on 9th
October. If you are a devotee of Goddess Durga and you wish to please her and obtain her grace, you must perform the Durga Saptashati. MakeMyPuja Pujaris will help you perform this ritual during the ten days of Navratri to attain the blessings of Maa Durga so that you are protected against all evil forces. You will be granted happiness, peace of mind and success in your endeavours after performing this puja.
It is believed that it was Durga Ashtami when Goddess Kali appeared from the forehead of Devi Durga to kill the demons Chanda, Munda and Raktabija, who were associates of Mahishasura. This is why the Eight Shaktis or Ashta Nayikas, which are the 8 incarnations of Shakti are worshipped on this day. They are named Chamunda, Brahmani, Maheswari, Kameswari, Vaishnavi, Narasinghi, Indrani and Varahi. 64 associates known as Chausath Yogini are also worshipped on this day.
To respect and please these 8 forms of Maa Shakti, people perform the ritual of welcoming 8 little girls to their home and serving them delicious food. They are welcomed with washing their feet and are made to sit on an asana. Kumkum is applied to their toe and their feet are touched to show reverence. They are then served delicious Kheer and Puri, and gifted a present and some cash. This Kanya Pujan is observed across the country on this auspicious occasion.
Astra Puja is also performed on this day,wherein weapons of Maa Durga are worshipped. Also, an event called Virashtami is observed, where arms or martial arts is exhibited. Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, is the city that should be visited during the festival. People are in full enthusiasm one week prior to the festival. Pandals are gorgeously decorate and lit in hundreds of colours during the night time. If you are in the city during the occasion, make sure to visit these amazingly beautiful and famous Durga Puja pandals –
Bose Pukur Sitala Mandir
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