Ayudha Puja in India in 2020

Ayudha Puja in India in 2020
On Ayudha Puja, devotees clean and worship their tools. Image by Philip Swinburn , via Unsplash
  How long until Ayudha Puja?
This holiday next takes place in 338 days.
  Dates of Ayudha Puja in India
2021 Oct 14
KarnatakaThu, Oct 14Regional Holiday
PuducherryThu, Oct 14Regional Holiday
Tamil NaduThu, Oct 14Regional Holiday
2020 Oct 25
KarnatakaSun, Oct 25Regional Holiday
PuducherrySun, Oct 25Regional Holiday
Tamil NaduSun, Oct 25Regional Holiday
2019 Oct 7
KarnatakaMon, Oct 7Regional Holiday
PuducherryMon, Oct 7Regional Holiday
Tamil NaduMon, Oct 7Regional Holiday
  Summary
On Ayudha Puja, the ninth day of Navaratri, many common and seemingly mundane tools and implements are cleaned and worshipped.
  Which regions observe Ayudha Puja in 2020?
Karnataka  KarnatakaOct 25Regional Holiday
Puducherry  PuducherryOct 25Regional Holiday
Tamil Nadu  Tamil NaduOct 25Regional Holiday
Related holidays

When is Ayudha Puja?

Ayudha Puja is a Hindu festival observed as a regional public holiday in some Southern Indian states. 

Also known as Astra Puja, this holiday is celebrated on the ninth day of Navaratri every year.

Traditions of Ayudha Puja

Rather than describe a part of the great stories behind Navaratri or Dussehra as in the case with other days in this festive period, Ayudha Puja means 'worship of tools' and it is this unique custom that names the day. 

On this day, instead of the usual focus on the worship of some celestial being, this is a day to express gratefulness for the tools that are such an integral part of everyday life.

The tools and instruments that are worshipped on this festival involve many common and seemingly mundane tools and implements used in everyday life, such as computers, books, cars, or kitchen tools.

Devotees will clean their instruments, tools and vehicles before performing puja (worship). Shopkeepers and businessmen will clean their shops and offices and even students get in on the act by cleaning their books. 

The aim is to see the divine in everything, notably those things used in one's livelihood. It is believed that this day is also a blessed one for anyone who cleans and worships their tools on this day.

In the traditions of Dussehra and Durga Puja, both culminate in the victor defeating evil in a final battle. It is easy then to see how this festival developed, as before fighting in any battle, just like Rama and Durga, it is important to ensure your weapons are clean and in the best condition.

In ancient India, when conflicts between kingdoms were commonplace, the fighting would normally take place at this time of the year as the monsoon period has passed making it easier to wage war. This meant it would be a good time for armies to take stock of their weapons to be ready for any forthcoming conflict.

On Ayudha Puja, devotees also worship Saraswati, the Goddess of Wisdom; Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth; and Parvati, who is also known as the divine mother.

The festival is celebrated as Ayudha Pooja in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, as Ayudha Pujai or Ayutha Pooja in Tamil Nadu, and as Ayudha Puja in Kerala. In Odisha, it is celebrated as Astra Puja. It is observed on the 9th day of Dussehra in Karnataka.

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