Durga Ashtami, also known as Mahashtami or Veera Ashtami, is the eighth day of Durga Navratri. Durga Ashtami is very significant as per the Hindu beliefs and the legend associated with Durga Navratri Ashtami. In 2018, Durga Ashtami date is October 17.
On Ashwin Krishna Ashtami day, Goddess Bhadrakali, the powerful and fierce form of Mother Goddess, was incarnated. She appeared along with Yogini ganas to annihilate demon Mahishasur.
In Sanskrit ‘Durga means the undefeatable. Goddess Bhadrakali appeared with 64 Yogini Shaktis and some other fierce Goddesses to strike fear in Mahishasura. On Mahanavami, she became Mahishasura Marshini by slaying the demon. Because of this reason, the main rituals related to Durga Navratri are performed on Durgashtami.
On Durgashtami, devotees offer food and other dakshina or santarpana to Brahmin. Suhasini Pooja is also performed on this day in some regions. Kumari Puja is observed on Mahashtami in some places. On Durga Ashtami, in Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh, Batukamma festival is celebrated.