Ayudha Navami (Astra Navami) is one of the major rituals observed during Sharad Ashwin Navratri. In 2018, Ayudha Navami date is October 18. It falls on Shukla Paksha Navami in Ashwin Month.
According to Tamil calendar Ayudha Navami falls in Purattasi Masam, Kanni Masam of Malayalam calendar and Aashin Month in Bengali Panjika.
Ayudha Puja is celebrated on Vijaya Dashami in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamilnadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
In Kerala Ayudha Puja is performed on Mahanavami day (October 18). In some other places, Ayudha Puja is also celebrated on Durga Ashtami, 17 October 2018.
Ayudha Puja means the worship of weapons. After annihilating the demon Mahishasur, Goddess Durgas weapons were of no use. The weapons were kept aside and worshipped on Vijaya Dashami by all the Gods and Rishis. Asthra is the synonym for Ayudha, hence the puja is also called as Asthra Pooja.
On Ayudha Puja day, Hindus worship the tools or instruments that yield bread and butter for their families. Mechanics, technicians, electricians and labours who are involved in laborious and industrial work perform Ayudha Pooja.
It is to be noted that Vishwakarma puja is also very similar to Ayudha Puja. In 2018, Vishwakarma pooja was on September 17.