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What is Ahoi Ashtami, its significance and foods prepared on this festival

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In Hinduism, the woman of the house observes fast for the longevity of her husband and her kids. While a woman observes Karwa Chauth to pray for the longevity of her husband, it’s the Ahoi Ashtami vrat that’s kept for the good health and well-being of her children. This fast is observed on the Ashtami tithi of Kartik Krishna Paksha, and the mother observes a Nirjala fast and worships Ahoi Mata. This year, this fast is being observed on 5 November, which is on Sunday.

Ahoi Ashtami vrat kathaIn ancient times, there was a moneylender (Sahukaar) who had 1 daughter, 7 sons and 7 daughters-in-law. One day, his daughter and daughters-in law went to the forest to collect mud for plastering the house. While digging the soil, a baby of Syahu died due to a trowel. The angry Syahu cursed the daughter and said that she will never be able to become a mother and even if she did, the babies will die in seven days. She asked all her sisters-in-law to get this curse instead of her, but nobody agreed. However, the youngest one agreed and after this curse, and whenever her baby was was born, all by them died in seven days duration. After getting upset over these deaths, the youngest daughter-in-law asked a priest for a solution. He advised her to serve Surhi cow. Pleased with her services, the cow took the daughter in law to Syahu and saw them all resting. There, she saw that a snake was going to bite Garuda’s child, but she kills the snake and saves the kid. Seeing the blood, Garuda thinks that she was going to kill her child. She attacks her, and then the daughter-in-law tells her that she saved her child from a snake. Hearing this, Garuda becomes happy and takes her to Syahu Mata. Syahu mata is pleased to hear this story and grants her 7 healthy kids.

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How this vrat is done?
Well, this fast is observed just like Karwa Chauth, the only difference is that it’s done for the kids instead of the husband. It is said that those who cannot conceive for some reasons, should observe this fast with great devotion and the Syahu Mata gives her blessings to the woman with kids. On the day of Ahoi Ashtami, one should bathe early and wear new or clean clothes and should not consume anything. This fast is tougher than Karwa Chauth and does not even involve a Sargi. One should eat before 12 am the previous day to keep them sustained throughout the next day. Around noon, the puja is done while worshipping Syahu mata on the calender and the silver locket. After worshiping, the mother can have water and a cup of tea or milk and then should wait for the brightest star to appear in the sky. The star is what holds importance in the night, as the mother prays for the well-being of the kids, and gives arghya to the star, and then drinks water and have food. It is believed that the mother should wear this garland made from silver Syahu locket with silver moti till at least the festival of Diwali.

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The guidelines and foods made on Ahoi AshtamiWhile observing this fast, the mother should follow the guideline of not doing anything related to soil, avoid using sharp objects, not killing any living being (knowingly or unknowingly), not do any sewing-related work and one should not insult any elderly or helpless person. On this day, it is a tradition to make certain dishes and here is a list of them…

GulguleTo make Gulgule, you will need wheat flour, sugar, sesame seeds, water and ghee. First of all, take sugar as per taste in a bowl. Add water to it and keep it aside. After dissolving the sugar, add about 200 grams of wheat flour to it. Mix all these things and prepare a thick solution. Add sesame and fennel in it. Prepare a batter. Now heat oil in a pan. Make sweet pudding by adding the mixture to it. Fry it until it turns brown. After this turn off the gas. After offering it in the puja, distribute it to everyone as Prasad.

HalwaFor making Halwa, you will need semolina, sugar, ghee, green cardamom, water and almonds. Now heat ghee in a pan. Add semolina to it and fry it. Take it out in a plate. Now heat water in another pan. Add sugar in it. Let it melt. Add semolina to it and add dry fruits. Let it cook on low flame. Add cardamom powder in it. After some time, turn off the gas. After this serve it hot. Halwa is very easy to make and delicious. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to make it.

KheerFor making Kheer, you will need milk, sugar, rice, raisins, green cardamom powder and almonds. To make kheer, boil milk and rice in a pan. Add sugar, cardamom powder, almonds and raisins in it. Mix all these things well. This is how kheer will be made. Now serve it hot. You can also keep it in the fridge and serve it cold. It tastes delicious both ways. These dishes are popularly made on the day of Ahoi Ashtami.

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