KATHMANDU: Hindus throughout the country are observing the eighth day of the ten-day-long Bada Dashain festival as ‘Maha Ashtami’ today by worshipping Goddess Durga Bhawani.
‘Maha Ashtami’ is considered special as Goddess Durga is said to have attained power on this day. Hindu devotees offer special worships to the goddesses Mahakali, Mahalaxmi and Mahasaraswati.
Devotees throng various temples and shrines of the goddesses in Kathmandu Valley and throughout the country from early morning and offer various items of worship. Some of them sacrifice goats and ducks. People, who do not sacrifice animals, offer various vegetables and fruits in place of animals.
Devotees also read ‘Durga Saptashati’ scriptures as a ritual. On the occasion, people perform religious rituals at the Dashain Ghars and armouries and offer worship to the goddesses offering sacrifices of different animals.
People also worship weapons, vehicles and machinery parts in adherence to traditional rituals passed on from the Vedic period.
Also on this day, a special ‘Kalaratri’ worship is held at midnight at the ‘Dashain Ghar’ of Hanumandhoka in the capital city.
This day is marked with much fervour and is not only considered a day of worship and devotion, but also of merry-making and being together with family and friends.