As the nine-day festival of Navratri is drawing to a close, devotees are gearing up for Ashtami (also known as Maha Ashtami), which falls on the eighth day of Navratri. While Ashtami is observed all over India, special celebrations are seen in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi. All nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped on this day. This day is also celebrated as Durga Ashtami, which is the most auspicious day of the Bengali Durga Puja festival. Sandhi Puja is also conducted on Ashtami during the last 24 minutes of Ashtami tithi and the first 24 minutes of Navami tiithi. Ashtami 2022: Date And Puja Timings: Durga Ashtami on Monday, October 3, 2022 Ashtami Tithi Begins – 06:47 PM on Oct 02, 2022 Ashtami Tithi Ends – 04:37 PM on Oct 03, 2022 (Source: drikpanchang.com) Ashtami 2022: Significance And Rituals Hindus all over the country dedicate the eighth day of Navratri to worshipping the young incarnation of Goddess Durga. Kanjak (or Kanya Pooja) is observed by inviting young girls to home and worshipping them. Kanjaks are also offered Ashtami-special bhog, which usually consists of poori, chane and halwa. Fruits, dry fruits and small gifts are also offered along with the bhog. There is a section of people who perform Kanya Pooja on the ninth day, i.e, Navami, but the bhog foods remain the same. Here are the recipes of Ashtami-special bhog. Ashtami-Special Bhog Recipes: 1.Poori: Fried pooris made with atta or maida are made for the Ashtami prasad. If you always struggle to make the perfect fluffy pooris, here are some tips to get it right. Click here for the recipe of poori. 2. Chane: Dry black chane without onion, tomatoes and garlic are made for Ashtami bhog. It is a simple preparation with minimal spices but tastes great when paired with pooris. Here is the recipe of Ashtami-special kale chane. 3. Halwa: Sooji (semolina) flour is used to make halwa for Ashtami bhog. Sooji is roasted in ghee and mixed with sugar syrup, sometimes milk, and dry fruits like pistachios and cashew nuts. Here is the recipe of Ashtami-special sooji halwa. Bengalis celebrate Durga Ashtami with much fanfare, including a grand food fiesta. Dishes like khichuri (khichdi), aloo bhaja (aloo ki sabzi), Bengali chutney and rosogullas (rasgullas) are popularly served on this day. Find the Bengali-special recipes for Durga Ashtami here. Have a fun and food-filled Ashtami 2022!