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How To Observe Ahoi Ashtami Vrat? – Mantra and Puja Vidhi - Hoi Mata Fasting and Puja Procedure

Ahoi Puja, or Ahoi Ashtami Vrat, is observed by mothers on the eighth day during the dark fortnight (Krishna Paksha) of Kartik month in North India. Puja and fasting dedicated to Hoi Mata is the main observance on the day, which falls before Diwali. The fast begins at sunrise and ends with the sighting of moon or star. Here is a simple step by step guide to how to observe Ahoi Vrat.

Hoi Mata Fasting and Puja Procedure

 Ahoi Ashtami Fasting Duration and Time to Fast

The fasting is from morning to sighting of moon or stars in the night sky. It is a complete fast. But many devotees drink water and eat food made using Sabudana or fruits.

After the morning prayers, mothers do their normal work.

When to do the Puja

Most women in the neighborhood gather for the puja in the afternoon or an hour or so before sunset for the Ahoi Puja. Pradosh Kaal is ideally chosen for the puja (5:30 PM to 7:00 PM).

Drawing A Painting of Ahoi Mata

A painting of Ahoi Mata is made on the wall or a picture or idol is placed in the Puja room. The painting is made on the north side wall of the house. Dark brown color is used. A figurine with eight brackets is created. Images of children are also created near it.

Ahoi Ashtami  Puja Process

Water in a pitcher or bowl or jug is placed on the left of the picture of Ahoi mata.

The jug or bowl containing water is covered using a red colored thread. Turmeric and kumkum is smeared on the thread.

Locally available Grains are placed on a tray or plate and are kept in front of the picture of Ahoi mata.

Prasad or food offerings that are made are also placed in front of the idol. The Prasad made may include pooris, halwa, sweets, boiled chana or jowar. The main bhog in most regions is Poori and halwa.

Some people also place the money intended to be distributed before the photo of Ahoi Mata. The money is given to children or the poor after the puja.

Ahoi Ashtami Garland

There is also an important tradition of making garland using coins or currency notes by some families. Some people make garland using something very unique that is found in the region or something that is important to the family. This garland is passed on for generations. Some people make a new garland each year; others make a new garland if something highly auspicious happened in the family during the year.

Listening To Vrat Katha

Once all the puja items are ready, women listen to the Ahoi Ashtami Vrat katha from an elderly lady. Those mothers doing the puja can also either listen to the story from an audio source or read the story.

Puja and Fast Ends With Sighting of Moon

Once the star or moon is spotted, an aarti is performed before the portrait of Ahoi Mata. Women pray for a couple of minutes or mediate before Ahoi Mata. They pray for the well being of their children.

The fast is broken by eating some Prasad. The Prasad is also shared with family members and neighbors.

Special Mantra Chanted on the day

उमादेव्यै नमः॥