This year, instead of distributing prashad or calling kanya (girls) for puja at home, help the needy, in view of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Navratri is a nine-day Hindu festival and today is the eighth day, known as Durga Ashtami or Maha Ashtami. This day is dedicated to Goddess Mahagauri, where worshipping this avatar of Goddess Durga is considered auspicious.
Ashtami marks the eighth day of Navratri and on this auspicious day, devotees tend to observe rigorous fast, feast and worship for Goddess Durga who symbolizes strength. On the day of Ashtami, before breaking the fast, nine girls below the age of ten are worshipped and are fed sumptuously and, amongst other things, presented with new clothes.
As per Hindu philosophy, these girls are considered as the manifestation of the natural force of creation. Legend has it that it was on the eighth and ninth day of Navaratri that Shakti had taken the form of goddess Durga, on the request of the devas to kill the demon Kalasura.
Jai Mata Di