Chaitra Shukla Astami, eighth day in bright half of Chaitra month, is a big festival in Hinduism. Chaitra Shukla Astami is celebrated as Durga Ashtami during Chaitra Navratri or Vasant Navratri. In 2013, Chaitra Shukla Astami date is April 18.
In Bengal, Vasant Navratri is celebrated as Basanti Puja for 3 days. Asthami is the important day in Basanti Puja.
Chaitra Shukla Astami is also celebrated as Annapurna Puja in Bengal. Goddess Annapurna is worshipped on this day.
This day is known as Ashokastami in Orissa. Bhubaneswar Lingaraj Temple Rath Yatra or Chariot festival is held on this day.
Bhavani Jayanti or Bhavani Astami is celebrated on Chaitra Astami day. Devotees believe that Goddess Bhavani was born or first appeared on this day. This is a major festival in Tuljapur Tulja Bhavani temple, Maharashtra.
Chaitra Durgashtami or Vasant Durga Ashtami is observed on eighth day or Astami day during Chaitra Navratri or Vasant Navratri in Chaitra month. Chaitra Durgashtami is also celebrated as Bhavani Ashtami or Bhavani Jayanthi and Ashokastami in various places in India. Chaitra Durga Ashtami 2011 date is April 11. Other major Durga Ashtami observed is – Ashwin Navratri Durga Ashtami Puja.
There are no particular rituals associated with Chaitra Durgashtami but some devotees observe fasting and worship the Goddess with various pujas. Some perform three-day Puja during Saptami, Ashtami and Navami days in Chaitra Navratri.
In 2012, Chaitra Shukla Astami date was March 31