Navratri Parana - Significance And Rituals
Fasting on Navratras is one of the widely practiced rituals by Hindu devotees. The nine-day long Navratri fast concludes with Navratri Parana. The devotees end their fast on the eighth day which is Ashtami. They offer prayers to Goddess Mahagauri and perform Kanya Pujan (worshipping the girl child).
Rituals of Navratri Parana
For Kanya Pujan, young girls are worshipped as they are believed to be the manifestation of Maa Durga.
- During this Puja, young girls are treated to mouth-watering dishes such as Puri, Halwa, and chickpeas. As a mark of respect to Maa Durga, woman in the household wash and clean the feet of these girls.
- Tilak is applied on their foreheads. After they have had their meals, gifts are given to them.
- Women then touch the feet of these young girls to seek blessings of Goddess Durga.
- 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 (ninth day).
- In some families, Navratri fasting is followed on just two days of Navratri instead of the customary nine days. These two days are usually the first and the eighth day of Navratri.
So the fasting for the Navratri Festival is brought to conclusion on Maha Ashtami or Maha Navami with Navratri Parana.
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What is the significance of Navratri Parana?
Hindus believe that the battle between Goddess Durga and Mahishasur (a powerful demon in Hindu mythology) lasted for nine long days. The battle ended in the defeat and killing of Mahishasur. The ninth day of Navratri festival has, therefore, come to be universally regarded as a win of good over evil. On this day Maa Durga vanquished the demon with her power, strength, and wisdom. Therefore, Navratri Parana is regarded as the day following which new beginnings can be undertaken.