Ahoi Ashtami is a Hindu festival celebrated predominantly in North India. It is observed by mothers for the well-being and longevity of their children. The word "Ahoi" is derived from "Ahoi Mata," which means the mother who protects. The festival falls on the 8th day of the waning phase of the moon in the month of Kartik, usually in October or November.
On this day, mothers fast from sunrise to moonrise, refraining from food and water. They break their fast after sighting the stars in the evening sky, usually with the help of a lamp. The central ritual of Ahoi Ashtami involves drawing a sacred image of the Goddess Ahoi on a wall, accompanied by a story or legend about the importance of this fast. The image typically includes a picture of a mother with her children and symbols of wealth and prosperity.
This festival is a way for mothers to express their love and concern for the well-being of their children. It's a special occasion for family gatherings and the strengthening of maternal bonds.