The eighth day of Navratri is celebrated as Durga Ashtami. Durga Ashtami is on 9th October 2016.
Durga Ashtami is the most auspicious day to perform Kanya Puja or Kumari Puja. Devotes take bath early in the morning and wear neat and clean clothes. Halwa, allo puri and black chana are prepared to serve the goddess. You can also use unboiled fresh milk and sweets of mawa as prasadam. Take some fresh flowers in your hand and chant the following Mantra:
“Sarva Mangala Maangalye, Shive Sarvaartha Saadhike
Sharanye Tryambake Gaurii, Naaraayanii Namostute”
Offer those flowers to the Goddess. You can recite Durga Chalisa or Durga maa vrath katha also if you want, you can sing maa Durga aarti.
Kanya Pujan during Ashtami
All unmarried girls under the age of 11 are worshiped like Maa Durga. There feet’s are washed with water and served allo puri, chana and halwa. Remember, the food cooked in the kitchen must not contain onion or garlic. Moli is tied on their hand and tilak is applied on the forehead. Food is served among 5,7,9 or 11 girls
Langura-One boy below 7 year of age is also served along with the girls known as langura.
On the ashtami day, make a diya of atta (wheat flour) and Pure Ghee and place it in the middle of the prasadam plate. Light the diya, do not sweep the floor nor wash clothes, in other words, no major cleaning of the house is done. Repeat “Jaikara Sherawali da – bolo sache darbaar ki jai” many times to vibrate the energy in your house.
Prasad of Allo Puri, Halwa and Chana
served during Ashtami