The auspicious Navratri is celebrated across the length and breadth of India with some beautiful rituals, traditions and customs that bind the country together.

Kanjak

Kanjak or Kanya Puja is celebrated on either Ashtami or Navami. Families invite nine young girls(representing the nine forms of the Mother Goddess) to their house, wash their feet and serve them delicious meals and shower them with gifts.  This ritual is mostly prevalent in Northern India – Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh etc.  

Image Source: Google

Kumari Puja

Kumari Puja is celebrated mainly in Bengal and Assam through worship of young girls who have not attained puberty. The ceremonies are more elaborate where the young girls are dressed up in red sarees and adorned with beautiful jewelry. She is seated in front of the Goddess and the same rituals that are performed for the Mother Goddess are performed for the Kumari as well. Mantras are chanted, prasad is offered and Arati is performed per the Puja rituals.  At the end of the Puja, a procession in a palanquin is taken out in some places.

Kumaris at Kamakhya Temple. Image Source: Google

Depending on the age of the girls they are worshipped in the various forms of the Goddess

  • A one-year old girl is worshipped as Sandhya
  • A two-year-old is worshipped as Saraswati
  • A three-year-old girl is worshipped as Tridhamurti
  • A four-year-old is worshipped as Kalika
  • A five-year-old is worshipped as Subhaga
  • A six-year-old is worshipped as Uma
  • A seven-year-old is worshipped as Malini 
  • An eight-year-old girl is worshipped as Kuvjika
  • A nine-year-old is worshipped as Kalasandarbha
  • A ten-year-old is worshipped as Aparajita
  • An eleven-year-old is worshipped as Rudrani
  • A twelve-year-old is worshipped as Bhairavi
  • A thirteen-year-old is worshipped as Mahalakshmi
  • A fourteen-year-old is worshipped as Pithanayika
  • A fifteen-year-old is worshipped as Kshetragya
  • A sixteen-year-old is worshipped as Ambika

Our festivals are a delightful reminder of the rich and colorful cultural heritage of India!

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