Sharad Navratri or Navratri, celebrated in the holy month of Ashwin as per the Hindu calendar, is also called Maha Navratri. It is one of the most significant amongst all the four Navratris celebrated in a year which are Chaitra Navratri, Paush Navratri, Magha Navratri and Sharad Navratri. This year, Navratri started on the 21st September 2017(Pratipada) and would end on 29th September. The ninth day of festival is known as Navami or Mahanavami. Mahanavami 2017 falls on 29th September this year.
Kanya Puja or Kanjak
The common ritual followed across the country is that of Kanya puja or Kanjak. This is usually performed on the eighth or the ninth (Navami) day of Navratri. Nine little girls that represent the nine forms of Goddess Durga are welcomed into the house by first washing their feet and then tying moli (red thread) around their wrists. These girls are seated in a line and given halwa, poori and chhole (also known as ‘bhog’). These young girls that haven’t yet hit puberty are seen as the embodiment of goddess Durga.