Navratri Ashtami 2020: We are in the fifth day of Navratri and preparations must have already started for the big day - Ashtami. Ashtami is one of the most auspicious days and many people who cannot fast on all the nine Navratri days, keep the vrat on Ashtami. As the name suggests, Ashtami is the eighth day of Navratri. Ashtami will be observed 24th October, Saturday. It is also one of the main Durga Puja days when Chandi Path and hom or yagna dedicated to Maa Durga is done. Let's know more about the Ashtami day.
Navratri Ashtami 2020: Muhurat and significance
- Ashtami Tithi begins at 06:57 AM on October 23
- Ashtami Tithi ends at 06:58 AM on October 24
Navratri Ashtami 2020: Know about Kanya Puja or Kanjak
Ashtami is special among all the nine Navratri days. There are various puja rituals on Ashtami. Families mostly in the northern part of the country hold Kanjak, Kanya Puja or Kanya Bhoj on Ashtami. Nine little girls - between five and nine years old - are invited and served a special meal of puri, kala chana and halwa.
According to legends, the nine little girls symbolize the avatars of Goddess Durga. During Kanya Puja, the girls are seated near an idol or a photo of the goddess, their feet are washed and a red thread is tied on their wrist with best wishes. A red bindi or kumkum tika is put on their forehead. The girls are given decorated plates with food, coin and small gifts.
Traditionally the gifts included items like kumkum or bindi, bangles, red chunri or dupatta but now stationary items like colour pencils, crayons and books that children enjoy are mostly given.
On Ashtami, many families put up community kitchens to serve the poor and underprivileged in the neighborhood. However, this year, due to coronavirus pandemic, any activity which attracts a large number of people will not be allowed.