Budha Ashtami is a unique ritual observed when Ashtami or eighth day in a Hindu lunar calendar falls on Wednesday. The ritual is dedicated to Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. The ritual is performed for redemption of sins.
It is said in the Brahmanda Purana that the performance of the ritual helps in removing sins performed in previous births too.
In some regions people who observe the vrat only take eight handfuls of food on the day.