Bhairava Ashtami

Bhairava Ashtami

November-December; eighth day of the waning half of the Hindu month of Margasirsa
Among Hindus, Bhairava means "frightful" or "terrible." He is a manifestation of Shiva, a terrifying character who is worshipped to obtain success, prosperity, the removal of obstacles, and recovery from illness. He is often referred to as Danda-pani because he punishes sinners with a danda (staff or rod). Another of Bhairava's names is Swaswa, which means "he whose horse is a dog." He is often depicted accompanied by a dog or riding on one.
On Bhairava Ashtami Hindus worship Bhairava with sweets and flowers. Dogs everywhere are treated to milk, sweets, and other delicacies. At night, worshippers keep a vigil and spend the time telling stories about Bhairava. They also offer libations to their dead ancestors.
SOURCES:
Dict.Hindu-1977, p. 41
RelHolCal-2004, p. 180