Mahaastami or Durga Ashtami has begun with Kumari Puja on October 9, 2016 in all parts of India. Durga Ashtami, also known as Virashtami, is the most auspicious day in Navratri Durga Puja.
Kumari Puja which is also known as Kanya Puja or Kanjak Puja is the worship offered to pre-pubescent girls considering them as the manifestations of the Mother Goddess.
Shandhi Puja or Sandhi puja is also celebrated on Maha Ashatami day. Sandhi Puja is observed for 48 minutes – 24 minutes before the end of Durga Ashtami and 24 minutes after the beginning of Maha Navami.