Kumari pooja, Kanya Puja, is a ritual performed on Durgashtami day during Durga Navratri or Durga Puja. This puja is offered to virgin girls who are not attained puberty. Virgin girls are worshipped as nine Goddesses of Navaratri. In some places Kumari pooja is also performed on Mahanavami.
How is Kumari Puja Performed?
The devotees or the performers of Kumari Puja kneel down in front of the Kumari and decorate her feet with turmeric powder. The Kumari is adorned with flowers and Tilak or sindhur is kept on her forehead. Devotees perform the Kanya Puja with reciting mantras and slokas of Goddess Durga Devi.
The Legend of Kanya Puja – Why is Kumari Puja Performed?
As per the Hindu scriptures, Kumari Puja is observed to rememorize the demolition of the demon Kalasura by the Goddess Maha Kali. Legend tells that the demon Kolasura occupied the heavens and the earth. All Gods were helpless and tired with the bad actions of Kolasura. They approached Goddess Mahakali for help. The goddess was born again as Goddess Durga Devi and demolished Kolasura. Devotees perform dances and special aartis during the celebration of Kumari Pooja.