The festival vibes have begun in India as Diwali 2019 will be celebrated towards the end of this month. But before Diwali, a very important fast of Ahoi Ashtami will be celebrated on October 21. Marked a week before the festival of Diwali it is a traditional fast kept by mothers for the well being of their children. Like Karwa Chauth is observed by married women for their husbands, the fast of Ahoi Ashtami is marked by mothers. It is marked on Krishna Paksha Ashtami and followed mostly in the North Indian regions. Ahead of Ahoi Ashtomi 2019, we give you a little more information on the history and significance of this festive fast. Karwa Chauth 2019 Dos and Don'ts: Here's How to Correctly Observe Karva Chauth Vrat For Women Celebrating The Festival For The First Time.
History and Legends of Ahoi Ashtami Vrat
The fasting and puja on Ahoi Ashtami is dedicated to Mata Ahoi or Goddes Ahoi, who is worshipped for the long life and well-being of children. The day is also called as Ahoi Aathe because the fast takes place during the Ashtami Tithi. There are many tales related to this observance.
A moneylender had seven sons, and his wife was preparing to repair and decorate the house for Diwali celebrations. While she was digging for some soil, she accidentally killed a porcupine with her spade. The animal is said to have cursed and all her seven children. The couple was devastated with the thought and went on a pilgrimage. They were told to worship Goddess Ahoi, who is the protector of all offspring. On the day of Ashtami, the mother drew the face of a young porcupine and observed a strict fast. She repented for her action and pleased the Goddess with her honest devotion.
On every Ahoi Ashtami, women keep a fast with a pledge for the wellbeing of their children. It is a strict fast that is broken only after sighting of the moon. Earlier the fast was observed by mothers for the well-being of their sons, but in modern times, it is kept for sons as well as for daughters. Puja preparations are finished before sunset. Women draw images of Goddess Ahoi along with that of young children and a porcupine.