Ashtami 2018: What is Significance of Kanjak or Kanya Puja?

Ashtami 2018: What is Significance of Kanjak or Kanya Puja?

Ashtami 2018: What is Significance of Kanjak or Kanya Puja? 

New Delhi: Navratri's festival is dedicated to the nine incarnations of Maa Durga. Devotees try to seek the blessings of Durga with ample prayers and offerings. The eighth day of these nine nights is called Ashtami. In this Sharad Navratri, Ashtami will be celebrated on 17th October 2018. Several Hindu households conduct Kanjak or Kanya Pooja on this auspicious occasion of Ashtami, where nine girls who haven't attained puberty are welcomed into the house. After washing of feet, and tying of moli (red thread) these nine girls are offered with the variety of delicacies. The ritual is followed all over India but is most popular in states like Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Bihar. Also in some families choose Kanjak or Kanya Puja is celebrated on Navami. So, let's find out he idea of behind worshipping these nine little girls.

Importance of Kanjak or Kanya Puja

Kanjak is popularly celebrated on either Ashtami or Navami (the eighth or ninth day). It's referred as another way of paying gratitude to Maa Durga. Nine girls and a boy are welcomed into the house and are showered with delicious delicacies and gifts. The nine divine forms of Goddess Durga are Sailaputri, Brahmacharini, Andraghanta, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalarati, Mahagauri, Kusamanda and Siddhidatri.

Also Read: Navratri 2018: 5 Navratri Fast Desserts You Must Enjoy This Season

Nowadays, one can also observe many little boys following the girls in the Kanjak. After washing of feet, tying of moli (red thread) and after applying a tika on their foreheads these nine girls are offered with a variety of delicacies like poori, kala chana, and halwa. Also, many gifts are showered on them such as cute pencil boxes, hair clips, tiffin box etc.

According to scriptures, When the earth was agitated by the demon king Kalasura, than Goddess Durga who in her incarnation of a young girl defeated that demon. Since Gods were unable to battle the mighty Kalasura, they approached Goddess Durga to seek her help. She incarnated in the form of a young girl or Kumari and fought with Kalasura. Bewildered by his overwhelming power, Kalasura thought a mere girl cannot defeat him. He asked his guards to put down their swords, thinking he could take her down without many efforts. Goddess Durga in her little incarnation pulled out her sword and killed him. That's how she saved the earth from this demon.

What All Goes In The Kanjak

Delicious kala channa, puffy and piping hot pooris made of either maida or atta, sooji halwa made by semolina whisked in milk and ghee are served to the young girls as items of the bhog. A few pieces of coconuts, dry fruits, ladoos or chocolates(by some families) are also served to the little ones. 

Wishing you all Happy Ashtami 2018!!! 

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