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Durga Ashtami 2021: When is Durga Ashtami, what is its significance?

Durga Ashtami 2021 Date in India: Durga Ashtami, Ashtami Tithi Navratri festival In India, extended celebrations are considered one of the most important days.

Ashtami, which means ‘Eighth’, is dedicated to Goddess Mahagauri, one of the nine forms of Goddess Durga. According to the Drik Panchang, this year it will be celebrated on 13 October 2021.

For Bengali community, which celebrates Durga Puja which begins with Shashti, the sixth day of the festival, Durga Ashtami also known as Mahashtami. Chamunda incarnation of Goddess Shakti is worshiped on this day. It is believed that on this day the goddess appeared and annihilated the demon associates Chanda, Munda and Raktabeej of Mahishasura.

According to the Drik Panchang, the day begins with ‘Mahasan’ or a grand bath. This is done so that the body can be cleared of impure thoughts before the sacred ceremonies.

After doing this, nine small pots are installed and the nine powers of Durga are invoked in them. All the nine forms of the Supreme Goddess are worshiped during Maha Ashtami Puja. It is on this day that little girls dress up as the goddess herself and are worshiped as part of ‘Kumari Puja’.

Along with this, Sandhi Puja is also done on this day. The Drik Panchang states that the last 24 minutes of the Ashtami Tithi and the first 24 minutes of the Navami Tithi is known as ‘Sandhi’ time (an auspicious time) during which the puja is to take place.

While animals were sacrificed on this day in the olden days, this has largely stopped on humanitarian grounds and now people symbolically cut pumpkins, bananas, cucumbers, so as to maintain the tradition.

Also, during the aarti, 108 earthen lamps are lit to please the goddess and seek her blessings.

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