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Durga Ashtami

Durga Ashtami is a significant Hindu festival that is largely celebrated during the particular time of Durga Navaratri. According to the Hindu religious scholars and pundits, “This festival is celebrated as a memory of the day where Durga came out victorious over the demon buffalo, Mahishasura. Devotees of Durga recite many mantras of Durga on this auspicious day and seek for her blessings.”

The other name of Durga is Mahishasuramardhini. Therefore, Durgashtami is regionally known as Mahashtami. Most of the people observe fasting on this auspicious day. A traditional ritual of worshipping the weapons known as Astra puja is carried out on this particular day. In certain regions, this festival is known as Virashtami. The day is marked by use of arms and display of martial arts.

It is to be highly noted that the gradual increase in the significance of Durga Puja initially started during the period of British Raj in Bengal. It is to be highly remembered that Goddess Durga becomes the perfect icon of Indian independence movement because the Hindu reformists successfully resembled Durga with India. In the first quarter of the twentieth century, community puja or a tradition of Baroyari became very popular among the mass. Soon after the Independence, in the entire world, Durga Puja successfully stood one amongst the grandly celebrated festivals.

On the day of Mahalaya, traditional Bengalis enchants the hymns of the scriptures from Chandi or Devi Mahatmyam after waking up early in the morning. According to the Hindu religious experts, “Durga Puja is a festival which is also said to be the festival of Good Winning over Bad, Ma Durga winning over Mahishasura. Durgashtami day overlaps with the next day to end with a Sandhi Puja, puja performed for the overlapping of Durgashtami with Mahanavami.” The festival unites the people in the community for the socio-religious cause.

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