The Durga Suktam is a combination of mantras and prayers sung in praise of Goddess Durga after the recitation of the Durga Saptasati (seven hundred verse katha). It is particularly relevant during the Navaratri as it helps the devotee focus on the varied and multiple forms and qualities of the feminine power – the Goddess.
The eighth day of the nine night Navratri festival is celebrated across India as Durga Ashtami, and is also part of the ten-day Durga-Puja festival celebrated primarily in the state of West Bengal. Ashtami simply means eighth day of the fortnight. It is often also ascribed significance with respect to the eight-armed Durga holding weapons to destroy her enemies and bless those who seek her protection.