Worship your kids, if in North India this Navratri!

Navratri is one festival that is celebrated in myriad hues and styles in different parts of India.

In South India, dolls and icons are created and displayed, namely Kolu. In West India, traditional Garba & Dandiya Dance is extremely popular. In Eastern India, especially in Bengal, the homecoming of Goddess Durga is celebrated. In North India, an unique ritual called Kanjak or Kanya Langroo, is carried out.

 

 

The festival is meant to remind us of the end of the devil and the triumph of the goddess. Today, little girls, who are believed to embody the powerful and mighty Maa Durga, are worshipped through this ritual named 'Kanjak'.

 


Being a North Indian, I have countless wonderful experiences of Kanjak. When I was a kid, I recall that my cousins and I would get special treatment on Asthmi and Navmi (eighth and ninth day of Navratri) - invitations from neighbours, yummy food, gifts and lots more.

Now, my little girl is pampered on this day in similar ways. Unlike other days, I wake her up early in the morning and dress her in pretty ethnic outfits which she happily flaunts, after all, it's her day!

 


What happens on the Day (Kanjak)?

Kanjak is an exceptionally popular and adored custom in North India, especially for little kids. People fast for 7 or 8 days worshipping Maa Durga and afterwards perform 'Kanjak' to complete the ritual and break the fast known as 'Udhyapan'. It is mostly done in the last days of Navratri (eighth and ninth day). On this day, people invite little kids to their homes. Kids turn out all decked up and are royally treated. The invitee washes the kids' feet and then wipes their feet with a cloth. After which, they apply a tikka (red smear) on their forehead and tie kalawa (red string) on their wrists.

 

 

Once the special ceremony is over, mouth-watering food is served to kids like halwa (dessert made of semolina), poori (deep fried Indian bread), kala chana (black gram) & sabji (vegetable).

 

 

Meanwhile the invitee prepares for kids departure, by arranging the best Kanjak Gifts for them.

 


The invitee then gifts the children and touches their feet to take the blessings.

 


So, if you are in North India especially in Delhi/NCR, celebrate Kanjak this Navratri with a friend/ neighbour and let your little ones be pampered in a different way! Don't forget to consider the below list while shopping for Kanjak Gifts:

 

Coin Purse – Little girls will love it, as they get lots of coins on this day.

 


You can buy these from Central Market Delhi. Cost: INR 50 and above
Studded and beaded Mirror – which child doesn't like to stare at themselves in the mirror?

 


You can buy these from Central Market Delhi. Cost: INR 50 and above
Stationery items like Crayons, Sketch Pens: Every child likes to scribble and color.

 


Any stationery shop is good for this. Cost: INR 10 and above
Projector Watch: Their favourite cartoon characters on their wrist would delight them beyond words.

 

 

You can buy these from online portals or toyshops. Cost Range: INR 100 and above.

So, enjoy with your child, if you happen to be a guest or host for Kanjak and wish you a very happy Navratri!!

 

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