What is Navratri Parana?
Navratri Parana is a ritual followed to break or conclude the nine days long Navratri fast. Some of the devotees, end their fast on the eighth day which is Ashtami. Prayers are offered to Goddess Maa Mahagauri and with this Kanya Puja is done.
See Also: Indian Calendar, Hindu Calendar
Significance of Navratri Parana & the Rituals?
It is well-known that the Shardiya Navratri Parana is done when Navami Tithi gets over and Dashmi Tithi begins. As per the Hindu scriptures, Chaitra Navratri fasting should be done from Pratipada to Navmi. To follow this ritual, Chaitra Navratri fasting should be observed throughout the Navratri Tithi. The fast can be broken according to the principles and guidelines of Nirnaya-Sindhu.
As per the Hindu Scriptures, there are two different views when it comes to the timing of Navratri Parana. Therefore, according to these opinions, Navratri Parana can either be done on the Navami Tithi or on the Dashmi
As mentioned above, for Kanya Pujan, young girls are worshipped who are believed to be the manifestation of Maa Durga.
During this Puja, young girls are offered with different mouth watering dishes such as Puri, Halwa and chickpeas. To showcase respect towards Maa Durga, the woman in the house wash and clean the feet of these girls.
After this, a tilak is applied on their forehead and gifts are given to them after offering them the food. In the final step, woman touches the feet of girls to seek blessings from Maa Durga.
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The ritual of Navratri Parana is apart from the nine days of festivities of Navratri. This tradition is observed either on the Ashtami Tithi or on the Navami Tithi.
In some of the families, Navratri fasting is followed for two days of Navratra instead of nine days. These two days are usually sought as the first day of Navratri and the second day is considered to the eighth day of the festival.
Thus, it is a ritual to end the Navratri fast on Ashtami and Navami with respect to end the Navratri festival on Maha Ashtami or Maha Navami.