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Worship of Girl Child during Navratras

Little girls are worshiped during Navratras and they symbolically represent Goddess Durga. The worship is performed on the occasion of Ashtami, the eighth day of Navratri. The little girls who are invited to be worshipped are known as ‘kanjaks.’

This worship is part of the ongoing Navratri fast and celebration. The little girls are ceremonially welcomed into the house and their feet are washed and tilak is applied. Then they are served with traditional sweets. The girls are also given gifts and money.

This ritual is held mostly in Punjab and Haryana – two states famous for female feticide. In recent years, many household in these states were finding it hard to get girl children to worship as Goddess Durga.