KATHMANDU, Oct 24: Nepali Hindus are observing Maha Ashtami, the eighth day of the ten-day-long Bada Dashain festival, on Saturday, by worshipping goddess Durga Bhawani.
As per Hindu mythology, goddess Durga attained her power on this day and illuminated the entire universe with the divine light. With a trishul and a damru in two of her hands, she protects and blesses her devotees, it is believed.
Devotees visit Hindu shrines to offer special worships to the goddesses Mahakali, Mahalaxmi and Mahasaraswati. However, such visits have been largely affected this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In normal days, devotees throng various temples and shrines of the goddesses in the Kathmandu Valley and throughout the country from early morning and offer various items of worship.
However, this year, the government has urged one and all to conduct only daily rituals in temples and shrines owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
People also sacrifice goats and ducks on this day.
On this day, people perform worship at Dashain ghars, armories and offer worship to the goddesses offering sacrifices of different animals.
People also worship weapons, vehicles and machinery parts in adherence to traditional rituals passed on from the Vedic period.
A special ‘Kalaratri’ worship is also held at midnight at the ‘Dashain Ghar’, Hanumandhoka, at the heart of Kathmandu.