Durga Ashtami Puja, Durgashtami, Mahashtami, Veerashtami, is the main festival in Durga Navratri Pooja. Durga Ashtami is celebrated on Shukla Paksha Ashtami in Ashwin month or Ashwayuja masam. In 2016, Durga Ashtami date is October 9.
Rituals, Customs and Pujas to observe on Durgashtami:
Goddess Mahagauri is the Navadurga mata to worship on Durgashtami day. Maha Gauri Puja is also one of the main pujas to perform on Durga Ashtami. Durga is worshipped in the form of Maha Gauri on Durga Ashtami day. In some places, Goddess Bagala or Goddess Narayani is also worshipped.
In Andhra Pradesh, a special regional festival called Bathukamma Panduga (Bathukamma Festival) is celebrated. Bathukamma Visarjanam (nimajjanam) is performed on Durgashtami.
On Durga Ashtami, Ayudha Puja or Astra pooja is performed. Ayudha Puja ritual is celebrated on Vijaya Dashami or Dasara in some places of India. The mechanical operators, electrical operators and the articles which are used in professional life are worshipped during Ayudha Puja or Asthra pooja. In some places, Ayudha Puja is observed on Mahanavami or Durga Navami.
Durga Ashtami is the third day in five-day Durga Pooja celebrations in Bengal. On Mahashtami day, Kanya Puja or Kumari Pooja is observed in Bengal.
Durga Ashtami in other countries
Durga Ashtami date in USA – October 9
Durga Ashtami date in Canada – October 9
Durga Ashtami date in UK & other European countries – October 9
Durga Ashtami date in UAE & other Gulf countries – October 9
Durga Ashtami date in Singapore – October 9
Durga Ashtami date in Malaysia – October 9
Durga Ashtami date in Australia – October 9
Durga Ashtami date in New Zealand – October 9
Durga Ashtami date in South Africa & other African countries – October 9