Ahoi Ashtami Fast: For the mothers who have sons, the festival specially meant is named as Ahoi Ashtami. This is celebrated on the ashtami of Karthik Mas mostly comes in the month of November. In 2010 this day is coming on Sat, the October 30, 2010. In the evening the fasting mothers prey for the long life of their sons and offer pure water to the stars and fast is opened by taking their meals mostly prepared of rice and mongi dal, vegetable of potato’s and brinjals with chapattis. There are many stories pertaining to fasting mothers, asking for blessing and wishes of their sons, associated with this festival. There is a similarity between the Ahoi Ashtami and Karwa Chauth fast and prayer. People of the Northern India celebrate the fast with a few varieties. Mostly the method observed for the fast and prayer broadly is as follows.
Procedure: Prayers are offered to Ahoi Mata and Mothers fast all the day long. The mothers wake up early and take some refreshments before sunrise and then proceeds to offer prayers to temple for their children. In the evening the fast ends with appearance of the moon, and some families ends the fast by seeing the stars in the sky. Mostly a colorful picture of the Ahoi Mata is painted on the walls and an earthen bowl filled of pure water is placed on it. Now days printed paper pictures, posters and calendars are available in the market and are used replacing the wall painting. Around the bowl of water an untwisted red colored thread (mauli) is wrapped with the ends dipped in turmeric powder and in the left of picture is placed. An elderly lady of the house read the story of the Ahoi Mata and all the other women of the house listen to the story sitting down around the elderly lady. Grains are placed in a plate and in the centre of the picture it is positioned for the prayer among the other essentials. Puris, boiled channa, halwa and jowar etc are offered as the food. Sweets are also offered by some of the people as liked by their children. Before Mata’s picture money is also offered. Money and sweets are distributed among the children and the elderly persons of the family after the reading of the story is done. Many of the families make garlands of silver coins, gold coins and keepsakes and continue adding the same to the garland from the birth of the son till he is married every year as a tradition and the tradition is passed to future generations.
Legend of the festival: In a village there lived a woman, once upon a time, having seven sons. One day for renovation and painting of her home she went to the forest to bring the soil (this happened to be in the month of Kartik just before Deepawali the Hindu festival. When with her axe she started digging the soil, the axe fell on the cub in the den and this led to the death of the cub. She felt very sympathetic and sorry. She came back to her home with the soil. Within one year after this happened her all the seven sons died, she felt very sad. To an old lady in her village, she narrated her story, she told her that she had not done the same intentionally and she had not committed any sin. She told the whole story of digging the soil and death of the cub. Her confession was appreciated by the old lady and told her that confessing a sin has atoned her half of the sin. She was suggested by the old lady to pray the Ahoi Mata Ashtami Bhagwati goddess and sketch a face of the cub, with her grace your sin will cast off. Then she kept fasting and praying on the Kartik Krishna Ashtami and by the power of fasting and praying and the grace of the God her all the seven sons were got back. Since then to worship the Goddess Ahoi Ashtami Bhagwati has became the religious tradition in Hindus every year.Share