NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday (October 24) greeted the nation on Dura Ashtami, the eighth day of auspicious Navratri festival. The Prime Minister sought blessings from Goddess Durga seeking happiness, good health and prosperity for everyone. 

“Greetings on the special occasion of Maha Ashtami to everyone. I pray that Maa Durga continue to bless us all with happiness, good health and prosperity,” PM Modi tweeted on Saturday. 

President Ram Nath Kovind also extended his greetings on the occasion and tweeted, “Greetings and good wishes to fellow citizens on Durga Puja. This is a celebration of the victory of good over evil. On this occasion, we all should take a firm resolve to respect and empower our womenfolk. May Goddess Durga enrich our lives with joy, peace and prosperity.”

The nine-day long festival is dedicated to Goddess Durga. Each day, the nine forms of the Goddess are worshipped.

Durga Ashtami is considered to be one of the most important days of Navratri. It begins with Mahasnan and Shodashopachar Puja. On this day, all the nine forms of the goddess and young girls are worshipped on this day. 

Young girls are invited home and offered an auspicious meal on this day as a part of the puja. The prayer ritual is called Kanjak puja.

Durga Ashtami is considered to be one of the most important days of Navratri. It begins with Mahasnan and Shodashopachar Puja. On this day, all the nine forms of the goddess and young girls are worshipped on this day. 

On the eighth day of Navratri, devotees across the country worship Goddess Mahagauri, the eighth avatar or form of Goddess Durga.

This year, COVID-19 pandemic has dampened the festivities as there is a huge decrease in the number of devotees arriving at the temple for offering prayers. Meanwhile, temple authorities are adhering to the COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

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