Chaitra Durga Ashtami 2024: Date, timing, significance, rituals and everything you need to know - Hindustan Times
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Chaitra Durga Ashtami 2024: Date, timing, significance, rituals and everything you need to know

By, New Delhi
Apr 16, 2024 07:55 AM IST

Chaitra Durga Ashtami is a day of invoking Goddess Durga's nine forms and honouring young girls as embodiments of her divine energy. Check all details inside.

Chaitra Durga Ashtami also referred to as Mahashtami, holds significant rituals in Hindu tradition. During Durga Ashtami, nine small pots are arranged, each representing one of the nine forms of Goddess Durga, and worshipped accordingly. This day also marks the revered Sandhi Puja, occurring at the juncture of Ashtami and Navami Tithis, deemed highly auspicious during Durga Puja. Sandhi Puja serves as the pinnacle of the entire festival, symbolizing the union of energies. Traditionally, it involves the ritual of Balidan, or animal sacrifice, performed at this sacred moment. On this auspicious day, devotees observe fasts, offer prayers, and participate in various rituals to honour the divine feminine energy embodied by Goddess Durga. (Also read: Happy Poila Baisakh 2024: 25 best wishes, quotes, SMS, WhatsApp messages, Facebook status to share on Bengali New Year )

Chaitra Durga Ashtami falls on Tuesday, April 16. (File photo)
Chaitra Durga Ashtami falls on Tuesday, April 16. (File photo)

Chaitra Durga Ashtami 2024 date and timing

This year the significant festival of Chaitra Durga Ashtami will be celebrated with great pomp and enthusiasm on Tuesday, April 16, 2024. According to Drik Panchang, the auspicious timings to observe the occasion are as follows:

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Ashtami Tithi Begins - 12:11 on April 15, 2024

Ashtami Tithi Ends - 13:23 on April 16, 2024

Chaitra Durga Ashtami significance

In certain regions, Chaitra Durga Ashtami holds profound significance as it commemorates the emergence of the goddess Chamunda from Mother Durga's forehead. Chamunda then defeated the demons Chanda, Munda, and Rakthabija, who were allies of Mahishasura. During the Durga Puja rituals on Mahashtami, devotees venerate the 64 Yoginis and the Ashta Shakti or Matrikas, representing the eight fierce forms of Goddess Durga. These Ashta Shakti, also known as the Eight Shaktis, are revered across India and symbolize various manifestations of the divine feminine energy. The Eight Shaktis honoured during Durga Puja include Brahmani, Maheswari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Narasinghi, Indrani, and Chamunda.

Chaitra Durga Ashtami rituals

Mahashtami holds significant rituals in the worship of Goddess Durga. On this auspicious day, nine small pots are consecrated, symbolizing the divine powers of Durga, and the nine forms of the goddess are invoked into them. Each manifestation is venerated during the Mahashtami Puja, signifying the diverse aspects of her strength and grace. Additionally, Mahashtami is marked by the worship of young unmarried girls, who are revered as embodiments of Goddess Durga herself. This ritual, known as Kumari Puja, is a cherished tradition observed throughout the nine days of Durga Navratri, with a special emphasis on Mahashtami. It symbolizes the divine feminine energy present in all stages of life, from childhood to adulthood.

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