Ahoi Ashtami


Ahoi Ashtami is observed on the ashtami tithi of the Krishna Paksha in the Karthika masa or eight days ahead of Diwali. It is a festival from the folklore of Northern parts of India. According to Amanta calendar followed in Maharashtra, Gujarat and a few other southern states, this festival falls during Ashwina month. Regardless of the name of the months, this festival is observed on the same day in all the states. Ahoi Ashtami is predominantly observed by mothers for the good health and wellbeing of their children; this festival is dedicated to Ahoi Mata, an avatar of Goddess Parvathi. Ahoi mata is the protector of offsprings and is known to bestow health and wealth on them.

Ahoi Ashtami Date 2023

Sun , 5th Nov 2023

Tale of Ahoi Ashtami

According to the folklore, a wealthy moneylender lived in a city. He was happily married with seven sons. Once, during the preparations for Diwali festival, they decided to renovate their house. The wife left to the forest to collect some mud from a mine near the river. While digging the soil with an iron spade, she accidentally killed a hedgehog cub. The cub cursed her to face similar painful events by losing her children one by one and will never mother any child. In a year, the couple lost all their seven children. Disheartened as parents, they decided to go for one final pilgrimage and kill themselves on the return. They kept walking with no food and rest, till they fall unconscious and die. Pitying their heavy heart, Akashvani from the sky asked them to worship Goddess Ahoi and observe fast on Krishna Ashtami of Kartika month. Following the divine command, they returned home and awaited the day of ashtami

When the day came, the wife drew a picture of the Goddess Ahoi, the hedgehog cub to seek forgiveness, and all her 7 children. The couple observed sincere fast and their magnitude of repentance for the act of killing the cub pleased Goddess Ahoi. The Goddess appeared among the couple and blessed them with the boon of fertility. She started observing this festival every year, had children and continued this ritual for their wellbeing. Some stories mention that the cub killed, was of Lion’s and the parents were blessed with the divine message of Ahoi Ashtami also saved their seven children from the curse.

Rituals

On Ahoi Ashtami, the mother of the households wakes up in the ‘Brahma Muhurtha’, the time between 4.30-6.30AM. After physical purification, the house is cleaned and decorated along with setting up the pooja altar. Devotees fast on this day- Nirjala Fast or consume only fruits. Ahoi Ashtami fast break their fast after sighting the moonrise. After setting up the pooja altar, women draw the image of Ahoi Mata on a wall, with ‘Sei’ (hedgehog with its cubs) and children . The full image drawn must have ‘Ashtha Koshthak’ or eight corners. If unable to draw, a wallpaper of Ahoi Ashtami can be used. A clay pot called ‘karwa’ is filled with water and covered with a special grass known as ‘Sarai Seenka’. This grass is offered to Ahoi Mata during the Pooja rituals.

Ahoi Mata Pooja is performed during the evening twilight time- Saandhya kala. The women and other members of the family gather and perform this Pooja. After the initial pooja, the vrat katha is read aloud. After listening to the katha, Aarti is performed. In certain communities, Ahoi made from silver(similar to a locket) is placed near the image. This silver locket is known as ‘Syau’ and is worshipped with milk, flowers and akshata during the pooja ritual. After the Aarti, this ‘Syau’ is woven in a red thread along with two silver beads and worn by women. Special neivdhya prepared for the Pooja was distributed and then also donated to elderly women or Brahmans. 

Benefits

  • Ahoi Ashtami vrat is a powerful remedy for couples who are facing challenge with progeny or suffering multiple miscarriages. All bad karma associated with childbirth is cleansed by observing this ritual. blesses strong marital bond and lucky progeny for married couples.
  • This festival also ensures good and happy life for the children. It creates a protective shield around the children that guards them all their life.
  • Goddess Ahoi is well known for her powerful protection of young infants and new-borns from evil forces. She is believed to foresee and prevent accidents. Couples looking for male heir can also observe this vrat.

Ahoi Ashtami festival dates between 2019 & 2029

Year

Date

2019

Monday, 21st of October

2020

Sunday, 8th of November

2021

Thursday, 28th of October

2022

Monday, 17th of October

2023

Sunday, 5th of November

2024

Thursday, 24th of October

2025

Monday, 13th of October

2026

Sunday, 1st of November

2027

Friday, 22nd of October

2028

Wednesday, 11th of October

2029

Tuesday, 30th of October

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