New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: Durga Puja, also known as Durgotsava or Shardotsava, is a popular religious festival of Hindus which is celebrated all across the country and some parts of the world too. It is a celebration of the victory of Goddess Durga over demon Mahishasura. The festival is observed in the Hindu lunar calendar month Ashwin, it corresponds to the September- October month of the Gregorian calendar.

From Shashthi tithi of navratri, the Durga Puja pandals are set up and the celebrations begin. Meanwhile, the eighth day of Navratri or Durgotsava is known as Durgashtami. According to Hinduism, it is one of the most auspicious days of Durgotsava, which is also known as Maha Ashtami. This day is observed on the Ashtami tithi of the bright lunar fortnight of Hindu Luni-Solar month of Ashwin. This year it will be celebrated on October 13th, 2021.

Durga Ashtami 2021: Significance

As per the stories narrated, there were two demons Shumbh and Nishumbh who defeated Gods and invaded devaloka. They sent two demon generals named Chand and Mund. Meanwhile, on hearing the prayers of Gods, Goddess Parvati created Goddess Chandi and on the day of Ashtami, Goddess Chandi killed Chand and Mund. She brought their heads to Goddess Parvati and hence, Chandi Devi was then given the name Chamunda.

On Mahashtami, the ritual of worshipping 64 Yoginis and eight ferocious forms of Goddess Durga- Ashta Shakti, is very important puja. These Shaktis are incarnations of Goddess Durga representing different energies. Brahmi, Maheshwari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Narsinghi, Indrani and Chamunda are the eight Shaktis worshipped during Durgotsava.

Durga Ashtami 2021: Sandhi Puja

Sandhi Puja has special importance during Durgotsava. It is the juncture when Ashtami tithi ends and Navami tithi starts. It may fall at any time during the day and prevails for about 48 minutes and Sandhi Puja is performed during that time only. It is believed that to kill demons Chand and Mund Devi Chamunda appeared during this time.

Durga Ashtami 2021: Celebrations

- Some devotees observe fast.

- Special puja is organised in various Shakti Peeth.

- Astra puja is performed, weapons of Goddess Durga are worshiped.

- Goddess Chamunda is worshipped.

- Sandhi Puja is performed.

- Many dieties are worshipped on this day.

- In many states of India, Garba and dandiya (dance performance) are enjoyed.

Posted By: Sanyukta Baijal