Navratri is the auspicious nine-day festival devoted to nine forms of Goddess Durga and one of the significant rituals of this festival is Kanya Pujan. Little girls are worshipped during Navratri as it is believed that Goddess Durga resides in them. Going by the legends, Goddess Durga was incarnated as a young girl to defeat the demon Kalasura. Hence, the little girls are worshipped as they are believed to be the universal creative forces. Kanya Puja or Kanjak Puja is mainly performed on the eighth or ninth day of Navaratri where nine girls are worshipped as nine forms of Goddess Durga i.e. Navadurga.
Read: Navratri 2021, Day 1: Date, Colour, Mata Shailputri Mantra, Puja Vidhi, Ghatasthapana, Mantras, Timings and Significance
KANYA PUJA VIDHI AND SIGNIFICANCE
Devotees welcome the girls into their homes and are made to sit on a pedestal after washing their feet. After this, a holy thread known as Kalawa is tied around their wrists and red kumkum is applied on their forehead. They are offered a special bhog comprising of puri, kala chana, coconut and Halwa. After the bhoj, devotees offer gifts like red dupatta, new clothes, bangles and money. The ritual of Kanya Pujan is concluded by touching the feet of little girls and seeking their blessing.
Read: Happy Navratri 2021: Images, Wishes, Quotes, Messages and WhatsApp Greetings to Share with Family and Friends
Kanya Pujan is a significant ritual of Navratri. According to Devi Bhagwat Purana, it is believed that worshipping girls on the ninth day of Navratri gives the real merit of prayers to the devotees. Those who serve a nine-day long fast are especially said to worship a girl child at the end of Navratri.
Read: Navratri 2021: From Dholi Taro to Shubhaarambh, Bollywood Songs That are Perfect to Groove to This Navratri; Watch Videos
There is also a belief that worshipping one girl child blesses with good fortune, two girls bless with perception and Salvation while three girls give merit. Worshipping 4 and 5 girls blesses one with authority and knowledge, respectively while nine Kanya Puja is believed to bless with supremacy.