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):
- Maha Gauri
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:
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.
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