By Ekta Chanana Last Updated:
Kanya puja is the most important festival loved by people of all ages, especially the little ones. When we were little, our mothers used to wake up early and get us dressed in pretty lehengas and Indian ensembles for the kanjak. Aunties would specially invite us a day prior Ashtami, and we would happily attend the puja and wait for the gifts and halwa-puri. It was a core memory that is etched in our hearts and minds.
However, as we grew up, we stopped attending the Kanjak puja, but the chill of getting dressed, awaiting the gifts, and counting kanjak money stayed with us. For the unversed, Kanjak or Kanya Pujan is the most important ritual during Navaratri. Read on to know more!
In Kanya Pujan, we worship small girls who represent Maa Durga. According to Hindu beliefs, Maa Durga had taken a young girl's form and fought the demon Kalasura. According to a person's tradition, Kanya Pujan is done on Navaratri's eighth and ninth day. Hindus worship the nine Goddess avatars in Navaratri, also known as Navadurga.
Kanya Pujan, Kanjak and Kumari Puja is other names for this celebration. In this, people first wash small girls' feet. They then tie kalawa or moli (a red thread) around their wrists and put kumkum tikka on their foreheads. Some even make them wear laal chunri (dupatta). They then serve them yummy halwa, puri, and kale channe. They even gift them bangles, chocolates, juices, lunch boxes, and many other things according to one belief.
Kanya Pujan is the most beautiful ritual to conclude the nine-day Navaratri fast. The ritual is a way of paying gratitude to the Supreme Goddess, the shakti, without which nothing works. The nine Goddesses who are worshipped during Navaratri are Brahmacharini, Andraghanta, Kusamanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalarati, Mahagauri, and Siddhidatri.
Kanya Pujan is the most beautiful way of honoring and worshipping Maa Durga in the form of young girls. This is the day that brings excitement and cheer to one's household. And it is believed that Durga Maa brings positivity and provides protection.