Ayudha Puja, or Ayuda Pooja, is observed on the ninth day of Navratri festival, mainly in
South India. It is also part of the 10- day Dasara festival in North India. In 2016, the date of Ayudha Puja is October 10. Literally, Ayudha Puja means the worship of weapons. Nowadays, Ayudha Puja means ritual purification of the tools that one use to make a living. Saraswathi Puja and Ayuda Puja are observed on the same day in South India.
Goddess Durga carries numerous weapons which were given to her by various male deities. Therefore there is a belief that the weapons carried by Durga represent the various forces in Nature – Durga’s energy rests in these weapons.
Today, Ayudha Puja is the day when Hindus keep the tools and objects that are used to make a livelihood for pooja. The tools and implements are not touched on the Ayudha Puja day. It is only taken on the next day morning with renewed vigor after the blessings from Goddess.
Which tool one keeps during Ayudha Puja depends on his/her trade - this can be laptop, desktop, cycle, autorikshaw, screwdriver, sewing machine etc. Nowadays, people also do not use vehicles on the day. Cars, scooters and bikes are also kept for puja.
Children and people who are associated with art and literature also participate in the Ayudha Puja; they dedicate the prayers and pooja to Goddess Saraswathi. This is referred as Saraswathi Puja. Here too people abstain from touching books and other written materials.
Visiting temples dedicated to Hindu Goddesses is an important part of Ayudha Puja. Special poojas are also performed at home by elders and books and tools are kept for puja.