Ashtami Prasad – Kala chana /Sooji Halwa and Poori
Ashtami Prasad is made on the eighth /ninth day of the Navratri Fasting when the fasting ends with the worship and prayers of Goddess Durga.On this day we prepare Kala chana ,poori and sooji halwa to perform Kanjak /Kanjake. Prayers are offered to Goddess Durga and as a ritual little teenage girls under the age of 9 seen as an embodiment of Goddess Durga are worshiped .Its called Kanjak pujan or kanya poojan.
Kala chana or Ashtami Prasad is a simple recipe of Black peas/Kala chana made on the eighth day of Navratri fasting .Ashtami/Navmi pooja as popularly know in most parts of the country is marked by the closure of 9 days of Navratri fasting. Eighth Day of Navratri is celebrated as Ashtami and the ninth day called the navmi.
Everyone who observes these Navratri fast celebrates Ashtami i.e the eighth or Navmi i.e the ninth day of Fasting and mark the closure of fasting with Ashtami pujan/Navmi Pujan.
It like a festival or the beginning of Festivals in India.
Kala chana/Black chickpeas – Sooji Halwa/Semolina pudding – Poori are prepared paired with a gift some money and offered to the little Goddesses which visit the house to accept our prayers, bless us and complete the auspicious puja.
People welcome the little girls in their house and traditionally first wash their feet and touch them to seek their blessings. We then make then sit in a row and then perform the following before serving them with Ashtami Prasad or Durga Bhog.
- Tie a red sacred thread called Mauli/Kalava on their wrists.
- Apply tika (roli) on their forehead. Its a sacred red powder mixed with water and rice kernels) .
- Serve them Prasad in form of Kala chana, poori, halwa, piece of coconut/nariyal for Durga Bhog.
They are sometimes made to eat and finish their full meal as much they want and sometimes they are served in ready to take home platter along with gifts and money and then again take their blessings and allow them to leave. It’s a beautiful tradition and celebrated with much zest till today in and outside the country.As per tradition, it’s a must to welcome 7 Kanjans for the pooja and maximum as per your wish.
The Ashtami Prasad is a simple preparation of pooris made with whole wheat flour, sookha chana/dry black peas i.e soaked and boiled Kala chana tempered with spices and as a dessert Sooji ka Halwa/ Semolina pudding.