Why We Worship Girls for Ashtami

Why We Worship Girls for Ashtami

What is Durga Ashtami?

Durga Ashtami is the 8th day of Navratri, the day when the Goddess killed the demons and appeared in the form of Maha Gauri. 

This year, Chaitra Durga Ashtami was celebrated on March 29th. 

Why we Worship 9 Unmarried Girls?

These 9 girls represent the 9 forms of Durga (Navdurga):

  • Shailputri
  • Brahmacharini
  • Chandraghanta
  • Kushmanda
  • Skandmata
  • Katyayani
  • Kaalratri
  • Maha Gauri
  • Siddhidatri

A young girl who hasn't hit puberty or responsible for household duties yet, is considered to be the most auspicious, pure and clear-minded individual.

A Guide to Ashtami Puja

Nine girls between the ages of 1 to 10 are invited to your house for puja and a meal. 

Step 1: Cleansing Bath

Wake up early and take a bath

Step 2: Prepare Food

Cook delicious food for guests

Step 3: Diya for Devi

Light diya, put flowers & tilak for Devi

Step 4: Prepare Prasad

Place a plate of prasad for Devi

Step 5: Welcome Girls

Welcome the 9 girls, sit them down, wash their feet with milk and water

Step 6: Perform Puja

For each girl, put kum kum and rice tilak, tie red thread & perform aarti

Step 7: Serve Food

Offer the girls a full hearty meal

Step 8: Offer gifts

Offer the girls gifts and shringhar

Step 9: Donations

Donate fruit, food and clothes to needy or poor young girls

Did you know-- Hinduism believe the universal creative forces to be feminine gender. The force that created the gods and the rest of the cosmos.

What Do We Eat During Ashtami?

During Navratri, devotees follow a falahari diet:

Fal= Fruit, Aahar= to eat

During Ashtami, devotees eat:

  • Channa
  • Puri
  • Halwa

Hindus who were fasting during Navratri, break their fast on Ashtami. These three dishes help replenish the energy and nutrition lost from the 9 days of fasting.