Celebrating Ashtami in 2023: Ashtami, a significant and spiritually enriching day in the Hindu calendar, holds a special place in the hearts of millions of devotees. As we approach Ashtami in 2023, it’s time to prepare for a day of devotion, rituals, and festivities that honor the divine.
What is Ashtami:
Ashtami, which falls on the eighth day of each lunar fortnight, carries unique significance. However, it is especially celebrated with fervor during the Navaratri festival, a nine-day worship of the goddess Durga. This year, Ashtami falls on a particular day of the year, and it’s essential to understand the importance and customs associated with this auspicious occasion.
Worship of the Divine Feminine:
During the Navaratri festival, Ashtami marks a day dedicated to the worship of the divine feminine energy, symbolized by the goddess Durga. Devotees across India and in Hindu communities worldwide engage in elaborate prayers, pujas, and rituals to seek her blessings for protection, strength, and well-being.
Ashtami Rituals :
On Ashtami, devotees wake up early, cleanse themselves, and adorn their homes and altars with vibrant and fragrant flowers. The day commences with the offering of prayers and hymns, often accompanied by the melodious sound of traditional bhajans and aartis.
The Importance of Kanya Puja:
One of the most cherished traditions of Ashtami is Kanya Puja, where young girls are revered as embodiments of the goddess herself. Devotees wash the feet of these girls, offer them delectable meals, and provide them with gifts. This ritual symbolizes the nurturing and protection of the divine feminine energy within and around us.
Feasting and Celebrations:
Ashtami is not only a day of devotion but also a time for indulgence and celebration. Delicious, vegetarian feasts are prepared, including various sweets and savories. Many households host gatherings with family and friends, sharing the joy of the occasion and the sumptuous offerings.
Dandiya and Garba Dance:
In some parts of India, especially in the western states like Gujarat, Ashtami evenings are filled with energetic and colorful Dandiya and Garba dances. These folk dances are a vibrant expression of joy and unity, bringing communities together to dance in a circle, celebrating the victory of good over evil.
Marking Ashtami 2023:
As we approach Ashtami in 2023, it’s important to remember the spiritual significance and the cultural richness associated with this auspicious day. Whether you choose to visit a temple, perform rituals at home, engage in community events, or simply celebrate with loved ones, let the spirit of devotion and unity fill your heart on this divine occasion.
Ashtami in 2023 promises to be a day of blessings, joy, and spiritual enlightenment. It’s an opportunity to connect with the divine and celebrate the eternal feminine energy that empowers and nurtures us. May this Ashtami bring you peace, prosperity, and the grace of the goddess in all your endeavors.