New Delhi: Kanya puja is celebrated on the eighth and ninth day of Navaratri. Nine young girls representing the nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshiped and it is a custom to wash the feet of these girls as a mark of respect for the Goddess and then offer new clothes as gifts by the devotee.
There is also a ritual purification and chanting of mantras. She is made to sit on a special pedestal. She is worshiped by offering ‘akshat‘ (rice grains) and by burning incense sticks.
She is worshipped because, according to the philosophy of ‘Striyah Samastastava Devi Bhedah’, women symbolize ‘Mahamaya‘ (The goddess Durga). Even among these a girl child is considered to be the purest, because of her innocence.