Today – October 22, 2012 – is Durga Ashtami – the third day of Durga Puja celebrations and the eighth day of the Navratri festival. A fast is undertaken on the day many devotees. Other important rituals on the day include Astra Puja, Sandhya Puja and also Kumari Puja. The day is also known as Virashtami and Maha Ashtami.
Legend has it that Goddess Kali appeared from the forehead of Goddess Durga to kill Chanda and Munda and Rakthabhija on the Ashtami day. On the day 64 Yoginis and Ashtanayikas – the eight consorts – of Durga are also worshipped.