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Ahoi Ashtami 2023: Date, Vrat Katha, And Rituals

DateJune 10, 2023

Ahoi Ashtami is an auspicious Hindu festival that falls on the 8th day of Krishna Paksha in the month of Kartik. Ahoi Ashtami honors Ahoi Mata, the Hindu goddess of fertility and motherhood. Hindus worship the goddess for ensuring the well-being and longevity of their children. Women who have children observe a fast on this day, which they break after sighting the stars in the evening sky. After this, they offer prayers and share delicious treats. Women gather together and perform the Ahoi Ashtami Pooja.

Ahoi Ashtami 2023: Date and Timing

Ahoi Ashtami 2023 is on November 05, Sunday. Hindu mothers celebrate the festival for the well-being of their children. On this day, they fast from dawn till dusk. Ahoi Ashtami comes around 8 days before Diwali. The fasting and Pooja on Ahoi Ashtami are done to please Ahoi Mata or Goddess Ahoi. This day is also called Ahoi Aathe. Ahoi Mata is actually Goddess Lakshmi.

Asthami tithi is from November 05, 1:00 am to November 06, 3:18 am. Ahoi Ashtami Pooja Muhurat is from November 05, 5:42 pm to November 05, 7:00 pm.

ahoi ashtami festivals

Ahoi Ashtami Vrat Katha

Once there was a moneylender who had seven sons. One day in the month of Kartik, a few days before the Diwali festival, the moneylender’s wife decided to repair the house and decorate it. She went to the forest to fetch some soil for renovating the house. While she was digging the soil in the forest, she accidentally killed a lion cub with the spade. The animal then cursed her, saying that she would suffer a similar fate and within a year, all her 7 children would die.

On reaching home, the woman told her husband about the incident. The couple was grief-stricken and decided to kill themselves. They embarked on a final pilgrimage. They went on walking until they were so exhausted that they fell unconscious on the ground. Then they heard a divine voice that told them to go back home, serve the holy cow, and worship Ahoi Mata, who protects the offspring of all living beings. So, the couple returned home and followed the instructions.

On the day of Ashtami, the moneylender’s wife drew the face of the lion cub and observed a fast. She asked for forgiveness from the goddess for her sin. Goddess Ahoi was happy and gave darshan to her.

The Goddess blessed her and assured her that no harm would befall her sons. Further, she also blessed the whole village, ensuring its prosperity and welfare. On hearing this, the villagers drew inspiration from her story. The other mothers in the village also began to celebrate the Ahoi Ashtami festival by observing a fast. In this manner, the fast became a deeply rooted tradition among mothers.

Rituals of Ahoi Ashtami Festival

*On this day, mothers take a bath in the morning.

*Then they take a pledge, or Sankalp, to keep a fast for their children’s well-being. During Sankalp, they vow that they will not take any food or water and that the fast will end after they sight the stars or the moon, as per the family tradition.

  • On the day of Ahoi Ashtami, mothers observe a strict Vrat/fast from dawn till the sighting of the stars in the evening.
  • The day prior to Ahoi Ashtami, women clean and decorate the Pooja area with rangoli and flowers.
  • In the evening, the women come together and narrate the story of Ahoi Ashtami, which is about a mother and her seven sons.
  • People draw a picture of Goddess Ahoi Mata on the wall using mud or cow dung. Some also embroider it on a piece of cloth and hang it on the wall.
  • The image of Ahoi Mata used for the Pooja should have Ashtha Koshthak or eight corners, as the festival has an association with Ashtami Tithi. Along with Goddess Ahoi, there will be images of young children and a lion.
  • Preparation for the Pooja ends by sunset.
  • Holy water is used to sanctify the place of worship, and Alpana is drawn.
  • The women spread some wheat on the floor or on a wooden stool.
  • A water-filled kalash (pot) is kept at the place of worship. Its mouth is covered with an earthen lid.
  • A small earthen pot (Karwa) is kept on the top of the Kalash. The earthen pot is filled with the water, and it is covered with its lid. The Karwa’s nozzle is blocked with seven shoots of grass. The shoots are usually of Sarai Seenka, a type of willow. People sell these shoots during the festival in small towns. If grass shoots are not available, one can use cotton buds.
  • The seven shoots of grass are also offered to Goddess Ahoi and the lion.
  • Women perform a Pooja to Ahoi Mata, seeking her blessings for the well-being and long life of their children.
  • The food items used in the Pooja typically include 8 Pua, 8 Puri, and Halwa. These are given to a Brahmin along with money. The women offer the goddess traditional food items, including wheat flour halwa and milk.
  • The women sprinkle water on themselves while reciting the prayers.
  • After the evening prayer, women break their fast by looking at the stars and moon and drinking water.
  • The festival is an opportunity for women to gather together, exchange sweets, and share their experiences as mothers.
  • Elders give their blessings to the children to ensure their longevity and well-being and also give them gifts.
  • Families pass on the tradition of Ahoi Ashtami to the younger generations, thereby deepening the family bonds and creating a sense of community.
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