Karashtami vrat marks the beginning of Diwali festivities in Maharashtra. In 2019, Karashtami date is October 21.
It is observed on 8th day in Krishna Paksha of Ashwin Month as per Marathi Calendar (Kartik month in North India).
Bhaldevi Puja is the main ritual on Karashtami. People prepare special sweet recipe ‘Khir’ and distribute it.
Women observe fasting on this day and break their fast in the evening after Bhaldevi Puja.
As Diwali festivities start with Karashtami day, women draw rangoli designs at their houses to welcome Goddess Lakshmi.
Karashtami coincides with Ahoi Ashtami Vrat of North India. Ahoi Mata is worshipped during Ahoi Ashtami Puja.