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Ahoi Ashtami is an auspicious festival that is celebrated with zeal and fervour in India. This particular festival is celebrated approximately eight days before Diwali and four days after Karwa Chauth. Mothers observe the propitious Ahoi Ashtami for the long life and well-being of their children. Let’s get to know more about this festival.
Ahoi Ashtami 2022 will fall on 17th October 2022 (Monday). Given below are the important timings that you should know.
Ahoi Ashtami Puja Timing - 05:49 PM to 07:04 PM (Duration - 01 Hour 15 Mins)
Sanjh or evening time for sighting the stars - 06:13 PM
Moonrise on Ahoi Ashtami - 11:24 PM
Ashtami Tithi (Begins) - 9:29 AM on 17th October 2022
Ashtami Tithi (Ends) - 11:57 PM on 18th October 2022
Ahoi Ashtami is observed on the Ashtami Tithi, which is the eighth day of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight of the Moon) in Kartik month according to the Hindu calendar. In states such as Gujarat and Maharashtra, where the Amanta calendar is followed, this festival falls in the month of Ashwin. As per the Gregorian calendar, it corresponds to mid-October to November. As it is celebrated on the "Ashtami Tithi" or the eighth day, this occasion is called "Ahoi Ashtami". Also known as "Ahoi Aathe", this festival is popular in North India and is celebrated with a lot of pomp.
This festival is dedicated to Goddess Ahoi or Ahoi Mata, and women worship Goddess Ahoi with complete devotion. Earlier, on this day, mothers observed the Ahoi Ashtami fast for their sons' well-being, happiness, and long life. However, nowadays, mothers have started observing the fast for their children's well-being, health, and longevity. Devotees believe that women can also keep this fast if they want to be blessed with more children. It is also believed that women who face problems in conceiving should observe the Ahoi Ashtami Puja and Vrat.
The Ahoi Ashtami is quite similar to Karwa Chauth. It is a strict fasting day. Women observing this fast even abstain from consuming water throughout the day. They can only break the fast after sighting and worshipping the stars in the evening. Some break the fast at Moonrise. The sighting of the Moon on this day usually is very late in the night, so the fast is broken after sighting the stars.
As mentioned above, the Ahoi Ashtami Vrat (fast) is similar to the fast kept for Karwa Chauth; the only difference is that Ahoi Ashtami fast is observed for children, whereas Karwa Chauth is done for husbands.
Let’s get to know the rituals associated with this festival.
According to the story of Ahoi Ashtami, once upon a time, a moneylender lived with his family in a town. He had seven sons, a daughter and seven daughters-in-law. Before Diwali, his daughter and her sisters-in-law went to the forest to get soil. Unaware that a porcupine (Syahu) had built its den there, the daughter started digging for mud. While doing so, her spade accidentally hit Syahu's child, killing it instantly. The porcupine mother (Syahu Mata) cursed the moneylender's daughter that she would bind the girl's womb, and the girl won't be able to become a mother.
Hearing this, the moneylender's daughter pleaded with her sister-in-laws one by one to take the curse instead of her. The youngest sister-in-law agreed to do it instead of the moneylender's daughter. Due to that curse, whenever she gave birth to a child, that child died within seven days. When seven sons died in this way, she called the Pandit (Jyotishi) and asked him for a solution. He advised her to serve the Surhi cow wholeheartedly.
Surhi is pleased with her service and takes her to the Syahu Mata. On the way, they both get tired, so they decide to take some rest. Suddenly the youngest daughter-in-law of the moneylender sees that a snake is about to bite the children of Garuda Pankhini, so she kills the snake. At this point, the Garuda Pankhini comes back, and after witnessing the splashed blood all over, she presumes that the youngest daughter-in-law has killed her child. So, she starts pecking the youngest daughter-in-law with her beak. When this happens, the youngest daughter-in-law says that she saved the life of her children. Hearing this, Garuda Pankhini gets very happy and takes her to Syahu Mata along with Surhi.
Once they reach, Syahu Mata is incredibly pleased with how the youngest daughter-in-law has taken care of everybody. So, she gives her the blessing that she will have seven sons and seven daughters-in-law. Due to the blessings, the daughter-in-law gets to have a big family and her home is filled with sons and daughters-in-law.
The meaning of "Ahoi" is 'to make the untoward happen' or "Anhoni ko honi banana" as what the moneylender's daughter-in-law does in the story. Just as Ahoi Mata blessed the moneylender's daughter-in-law, in the same way, the wishes of all the women who observe this fast will also be fulfilled.
✍️By- Team Astroyogi