Navratri which marks the beginning of festivals in India, although approaching its end today but devotees across the nation are excited, energetic to enjoy the festival’s enchanting feeling and positive by worshipping Goddess Durga and get immersed in the depth of relaxing, upbeat Garba-Dandia dance. People across the nation are celebrating Mahanavami by offering prayers to Goddess Siddhidatri, the 9th avatar of Goddess Durga, who is worshipped as Mahisasuramardini. The occasion marks the end of Navratri festival when devotees break the cycle of fasting and celebrate the moment by offering prayers to Goddess Durga.
Though there are different ways in which people celebrate the festival, one of the most common way in which people celebrate the festival is by cooking delicious food and worshipping young girls who represent the 9 avatars of Goddess Durga, popularly know as ‘Kanjak’. The girls are generally below the age of 12.
The girls visit houses in the neighborhood or of relatives where people worship them by washing their feet and offer gifts, food which normally includes puri, chana, halwa and kheer.
Some people perform this practice on ‘Ashtami’, the 8th day of Navratri, and break the fasting cycle. Some celebrate it on ‘Navami’, the 9th day of Navratri.
Indian beliefs say that Goddess Durga in her Mahisasuramardini form had killed the demon Mahishasura on the 10th day. The occasion is celebrated as Vijayadashami or Dussehra.
Rituals and tradition has it that those who worship Goddess Durga in her Mahisasuramardini form is equivalent to offering prayers to Goddess Durga on all other days of Navratri.
Some people also practice the Mahanavami Upvas the occassion of Navami.
After worshipping the girls, and practicisng other rituals and customs, at the end of the day, a Maha Arti is organised.
In some states like Bengal, Odisha, devotees offer fish as bhog to Goddess Durga on Mahanavami while in North India, the bhog generally consists of puri, chana, halwa, kheer or other veg delicacies.
Puja timings on Mahanavami
On September 29, 2017, Navami Tithi ends at 11:49PM