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Ahoi Ashtami festival becomes a craze among Jaipur women
The craze for the festival of Ahoi Ashtami by middle-aged mothers in our colony in Jaipur is on the increase and women members of the welfare society of the colony collectively buy the worshipping material to organise morning puja. Even in local malls, the related materials are being sold as a package in designer boxes.

Both market forces and the fear of abandoning of old mothers by their sons has enhanced the craze for the festival for divine intervention for keeping sons dutiful to their aging mothers, it seems. Consequently, the market forces are all out to 'sell the festivals' on this pretext.

On this festival, being celebrated today, mothers are holding a fast from dawn to dusk for the well-being of their sons. The fast will be broken during twilight after sighting the evening star and other stars in the sky. However, some mothers with children, irrespective of the gender, have also started observing the fast for the welfare of their children.

Ahoi Ashtami fasting day falls eight days before Diwali Puja and four days after Karwa Chauth. Similar to Karwa Chauth, Ahoi Ashtami is more popular in North India only and quite popular in Rajasthan both in urban and rural areas.

At many places, the festival is also known as Ahoi Aathe because fasting for Ahoi Ashtami is done during Ashtami Tithi which is the eighth day of the month. In rural and tribal areas, the wall painting of Ahoi Mata is also made to begin the day and worship.

Quite alike Karwa Chauth, Ahoi Ashtami is a strict fasting day in a simple dress and much festivity and most women abstain even from water throughout the day. The fast is broken only after sighting the stars and some eateries have advertised for special menu appropriate for this ritual.

The festival are fast turning into commercial show-offs and marketing ventures. Many festivals have become multi-crore business events. Furthermore, TV serials have glamourized the festivals with special episodes.

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