Kolkata: The Durga Puja festivity entered its second day on Wednesday as Maha Ashtami ushers in festivity. After a night long pandal hopping on Saptami night, people in Kolkata can been seen sitting with friends and relatives in a leisurely mood at their respective locality pandals, while a section have already started pandal hopping at the early hours to avoid crowed.
The day saw people dressed in colourfull attire offering ‘Anjali’ at various pujas in the city. The famous Belur Math and Shobabazar Rajbari saw a huge gathering of devotees for offering Anjali.
Maha Durgashtami or Mahashtami is considered one of the most auspicious days of ten-day long Durga Puja festival. The Goddess Mahisasuramardini which means the Annihilator of the Buffalo Demon is worshiped on the eighth day. People observe fast or Ashtami Vrat or fast on this day in regards to Goddess Durga.
Devotees install nine earthen pots and invoke Goddess image in it. Nine forms of Durga are been worshipped during Maha Ashtami Puja and some young unmarried girls are treated as Goddess. This ritual is known as Kumari Puja and performing this ritual on a single day during Durga Puja is preferred on Maha Ashtami
Durga is considered as the deity of power, courage and strength. Fasting is believed to attain spiritual needs of a person. This year Ashtami Tithi begins on October 20 and ends on October 21. Durgashtami falls in the month of Ashwin when the nine days Shardiya Navaratri are celebrated. Durga Puja festival is celebrated from the sixth to tenth day of bright lunar fortnight.