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Mahanavami Puja – Rituals during Nabami Pooja

Mahanavami, or Nabami, is the ninth and the penultimate day of Durga Puja festival. Mahanavami Puja 2017 date is September 29. In USA and Canada, it is observed on September 29. All the rituals that are performed on Navami are those observed on Ashtami day, the previous day. The Sandhi Puja which is observed on the conjunction of Ashtami and Nabami overlaps into the Mahanavami puja day.

In some regions Kumari Puja is performed on Mahanabami.

Agni and few gods and goddesses that are invoked during the puja are given farewell on Navami. The priests are given Dakshina during the course of Nabami day.

A unique ritual on the day is the Vijaya ceremony. People embrace each other and forgive and forget past offences and promise a new beginning.

Kadamati is another unique ritual that is performed by some communities. The members of family lie down before Goddess Durga idol and sing praise of the Goddess.

In Bengal, Goddess Durga is worshipped in the form of Aparajita on the day. It is followed by Maha Arati which marks the end of the important rituals and prayers during Durga Puja. There is a major Bhog on the day known as Navami Bhog – favorite food items of Goddess Durga are offered to her. This is then distributed as Prasad.

In some rural areas large number of goats are sacrificed – a continuation of Ashtami day. But today people have realized the futility of animal sacrifice and there is reduction in the number of sacrifices performed considering the earlier period. The sacrifice ritual is also performed in Nepal as part of the Navami day during Dashain.