Durga Puja Ashtami 2023
When is Durga Puja Ashtami in 2023?
Durga Puja Ashtami Muhurat For New Delhi, India
Ashtami Tithi Begins at 21:55:15 on October 21, 2023
Ashtami Tithi Ends at 20:00:57 on October 22, 2023
Durga Ashtami is celebrated on the second day of Durga Puja. It is also called as Maha Durgashtami. On the day of Durga Ashtami, the procedure of worshiping Goddess Durga is same as that of Saptami. However, on this day Praan Pratishtha is not done. On the day of Durga Puja Ashtami after the Maha Snaan, Goddess Durga’s Shodashopachara Pujan is done.
On the day of Maha Durga Ashtami, nine small pots are kept and all the nine manifestations of Goddess Durga are worshiped thus, invoking the Goddess. On this day, all the nine manifestations of Goddess Durga are worshipped.
On the day of Maha Ashtami, Kumari Puja is also done. On this occasion, unmarried girls or young girls are adored to be worshiped like Goddess Durga as they are considered as the manifestation of the Goddess. In many states of India, Kumari Puja is done on all the nine days of Navratri. Kumari Puja is also known by the name of Kumarika Puja.
According to the religious scriptures, girls of the age between 2-10 are considered appropriate for Kumari Puja. The girls exemplify different manifestations of Goddess Durga in the Kumari Puja. These manifestations are as follows-
9. Bhadra or Subhadra
Durga Puja Ashtami is considered as the most important day of Durga Puja. This Puja lasts for both the days of Ashtami and Navami. In Sandhi Puja, the last 24 minutes of Ashtami and the starting 24 minutes of Navami is called as Sandhi time or Kaal. The time of Sandhi Kaal is considered as the most auspicious time for Durga Puja. Because it is this time only, when Ashtami Tithi ends and Navami Tithi begins. It is believed that during this time only, Goddess Durga in her divine manifestation slayed Asur Chand and Mund.
At the time of Sandhi Puja, there is a tradition of sacrificing an animal and then offering to Goddess Durga. However, instead of sacrificing an animal as an offering to the Goddess, the devotees offer banana, pumpkin and armenian cucumber (kakdi). Now in the Hindu religion, many communities consider animal sacrifice as unpropitious. In order to stop the animal abuse this tradition of animal sacrifice has been completely obliterated. At Belur Math in West Bengal, bananas are offered at the time of Sandhi Puja. Apart from this, 108 clay lamps are lighted at the time of Sandhi Kaal.