Ahoi Ashtami is an auspicious day when women observe a ritual fast for the longevity and well-being of their son(s). It is generally celebrated in Kartika month of Hindu calendar and in between September – and October month of Gregorian calendar. Ahoi Ashtami Vrat is vastly observed by women of north India. On this day, women observe fast from morning to evening and invoke Ahoi Maa for a happy and log life for their son(s).
They usually draw a cub or buy a drawing of a cub and implore before it. Prayers are offered to the Ahoi Ashtami Bhagawati on this day.
Observation of ritual fast emphasizes the Ahoi Ashtami occasion and on this day, women wake up early in the morning, and before sunrise they take a bath and have some refreshment (food) before visiting temple for prayer. The ritual fast initiates after this prayer and goes till the moon sighted in the sky. While, some women end up their ritual fast as they see the first star in the sky.
They draw or paint an Image or picture of Maa Ahoi on the wall. Several women also sketch the image of a cub. But nowadays, printed images of Maa Ahoi have taken place of handmade painting or drawing. They put a bowl filled with water before this image or painting. A thread of vermillion color or a thread dipped in vermillion color is tied around the bowl keeping in mind that the thread must not be twisted. This embellished bowl is placed left to the image of Maa Ahoi.
Prints or paintings of Ahoi Mata are now placed instead of a hand drawing or painting. They place a bowl of water before it. A red thread or a thread dipped/dyed in vermilion is tied around the bowl making sure it is not twisted while doing so. The ends of the thread are dipped in turmeric. This decorated bowl is kept to the left of the picture of Ahoi Mata. A plate full of grains offered in front of Maa Ahoi's image. Then devotee women offer Channa, Jwar, Halwa, Puri and other food stuff along with cash and coins to Ahoi Maa. Then a senior lady of the house read the story associated with this auspicious day and other women listen to her carefully. After the end of story, offered food stuff and money is distributed among children.