Today, 12 October 2013 is Durga Ashtami, Maha Ashtami or Virashtami Vrat. It falls on the eighth day of Navratri, Ashwin Shukla Ashtami day. It also marks the third day of Durga Puja, Ashtami Durga Puja in Bengal, Assam, and other Eastern parts of India.
In Andhra Pradesh, a special regional festival called Bathukamma Panduga (Bathukamma Festival) is celebrated. Bathukamma Visarjanam (nimajjanam) is performed on Durgashtami. In 2013, Bathukamma Festival is celebrated on October 12.
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.
Sandhi Puja is a major ritual of Durga Puja observed on Durga Ashtami day. It is performed during the Sandhi kala between Ashtami and Navami tithis.
Durga Ashtami in other countries
Durga Ashtami date in USA – October 11
Durga Ashtami date in Canada – October 11
Durga Ashtami date in UK & other European countries – October 12
Durga Ashtami date in UAE & other Gulf countries – October 12
Durga Ashtami date in Singapore – October 12
Durga Ashtami date in Malaysia – October 12
Durga Ashtami date in Australia – October 12
Durga Ashtami date in New Zealand – October 12
Durga Ashtami date in South Africa & other African countries – October 12