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Kanya Puja: Celebration of Ashtami and MahaNavami vary from region to region in India. On this day, the Havan ceremony is performed in the morning and Kanya Puja is conducted afterward. During this Kanya or Kumari Pujan, 9 girls or 9 Kumaris representing 9 forms of Goddess Shakti, are invited at their homes by the devotees. Then they wash their feet, offer ‘bhog’ to them and present them with new clothes and other items. Washing of feet is a way of showing respect towards the Goddess. They are feasted with the food that includes halwa, puri, chana ya chole ki sabzi, and kheer.
History Behind Kanya Puja:
According to Hindu scripts, once demon king Kolasura occupied heaven and was spreading terror on Earth. Devatas being helpless approached Devi Kali for help. Goddess Kali incarnated into Durga and killed Kolasura. Since then, Kanya Pujan is performed to remember the demolition of Kolasura by Goddess Durga. People perform special aartis and dance during the Kanya Pujan to pay their homage to Goddess Durga.
Significance of Kanya Pujan:
Maa Durga is one of the inspirations of the entire creation. According to ‘Striyah Samastastava Devi Bhedah’, a Hindu script a woman personifies as “Mahamaya” or Maa Durga. And a girl child is the purest form of Devi due to her innocence. A girl, before attaining her puberty is considered to be most pure, clear-minded and a divine soul. This female child is a true Devi. She will take up the role of Goddess Parvati as a mother and a wife, Goddess Lakshmi as a housewife, Devi Saraswati as the first guru of their children, Maa Durga as the demolisher of all the problems coming in their life, Devi Annapurna by providing all the food for her family and so on in her later life. Therefore, Kanya puja is a part of the Navratri Puja ritual. This is performed to worship the feminine powers vested in the form of girl child. Since in India, boys are given more importance than a girl child, this ritual also increases the significance of a girl in our society.
This Puja in Hindu Community is mainly dedicated to Goddess Durga for seeking his blessings. Goddess Durga is known by her intelligence.
The procedure of Kanya Puja: