Friday, November 9, 2012

Indian Festival - Ahoi Ashtami

When is it celebrated?
Celebrated in the month of October - November (Karthik Mas)

Why is it celebrated?
This festival is specifically meant for mothers who have sons. Mother's keep fast on this day. Pure water is offered to stars during the evening time by the mothers and they pray for the long life of their sons. 

How is it celebrated?
Mothers keep fast all day and in the evening offer Pooja water to stars and pray for their long life of their children. 

The fasting is from morning to sighting of moon or stars in the night sky.

After the morning prayers, mothers do their normal work.

Most women in the neighborhood gather for the puja in the afternoon or an hour or so before sunset for the Ahoi Puja.

A painting of Ahoi mata is made on the wall or a picture or idol is placed in the Puja room.

Water in a pitcher or bowl or jug is placed on the left of the picture of Ahoi mata.

The jug or bowl containing water is covered using a red colored thread. Turmeric and kumkum is smeared on the thread.

Locally available Grains are placed on a tray or plate and are kept in front of the picture of Ahoi mata.Prasad or food offerings that are made are also placed in front of the idol. The Prasad made include pooris, halwa, sweets, boiled channa or jowar.

Some people also place the money intended to be distributed before the photo of Ahoi Mata. The money is given to children or the poor after the puja.

There is also an important tradition of making garland using coins or currency notes by some families. Some people make garland using something very unique that is found in the region or something that is important to the family. This garland is passed on for generations. Some people make a new garland each year; others make a new garland if something highly auspicious happened in the family during the year. 

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