Ahoi Ashtami 2018: The festival season is under way, and this is that time of the year when almost every day is a special day. Navratri, Durga Puja and Dussehra just got over, Sharad Purnina was celebrated on Tuesday, Karwa Chauth is days away, and Diwali is not far. Four days after Karwa Chauth, and around eight days before Diwali, comes another Hindu festival that is eagerly awaited in North India. Ahoi Ashtami, which signifies the power of a mother’s prayer, will be celebrated on the last day of this month.
Like in Karwa Chauth, a strict fast is observed on Ahoi Ashtami too. The festival, also known as Ahoi Aathe, is mainly celebrated by the Banya-Marwari community.
Ahoi Ashtami 2018 date and time
This year, Ahoi Ashtami will be celebrated on Wednesday, October 31. The Ashtami tithi is set to begin at 11:09 am on 31 October and ends at 09:10 on 1 November. According to pandits, the Ahoi Ashtami puja will be done between 4:56 pm and 6:12 pm on 31 October.
Why is Ahoi Ashtami observed?
Traditionally, the day is celebrated by mothers who observe a day-long fast, even abstaining from water, for the well-being of their children. The women break their fast after sighting stars in the sky. Some women want for the moon to rise to break their fast, but moon usually rises quite late on Ahoi Ashtami. This year, the moonrise is likely around 11.15 pm.
How is Ahoi Ashtami celebrated?
On this day, mothers wake up before sunrise, have some refreshments and go to temple to offer prayers. Their fast begins at dawn.
As per tradition, a picture of stars and Ahoi Mata is drawn on a wall and a pitcher of water and grains are placed in front of it. The story of Ahoi Mata is then read out by an elderly woman in the house as others listen. The food offerings include puri, halwa and other sweets. Water chestnuts are offered too.