Kumari Puja or Kanya Pooja is an important ritual during Durga Navratri puja. Usually, Kanya Kumari Puja is observed on Mahaastami (Durga Ashtami) day. Maha Astami is the eighth day of Durga Navratri Puja. Kanya Puja is also known as Kanjak Ashtami Puja in some regions.
When is Kanya Puja celebrated in 2012
During Durga Navratri 2012 Kumari Puja date is October 22. In some places it is also celebrated on October 23.
What is Kanya Puja or Kumari Puja?
Kanya or Kumari Puja is a ritual of worshipping a girl aged between six and twelve, symbolising the Kanya Kumari (virgin) form of Goddess Durga Devi. Devotees perform the Kanya Puja in front of the idol of Goddess Durga. Devotees believe that a Kanya is a living replica of the Goddess Durga.
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 .
How to Select a Kanya or Kumari?
A young girl aged 1 year to 12 years who is not attained puberty is considered as a Kanya for Kanya Puja. The Kumari is named according to her age: 1 year – Sandhya, 2 years – Saraswati, 3 years – Tridhamurthi, 4 years – Kalika, 5 years – Subhaga, 6 years – Uma, 7 years – Malini, 8 years – Kuvjika, 9 years – Kalasandarbha, 10 years – Aparajita, 11 years – Rudrani, 12 years – Bhairavi, and 13 years – Mahalaxmi.