Devotees wake up early in the morning and worship Goddess Durga by offering her flowers, chandan (sandalwood paste), incense, kumkum, fruits etc. Devotees also chant various goddess mantras on this day. Both men and women celebrate this eve and recite Durga Ashtami Vrat Katha and Durga Chalisa.
O Kanya Puja is also performed by the devotees on this day. It is a special day for those who observe Navratri fast and then break it by feeding the young girls the traditional bhog – halwa-puri and chana. According to Devi Bhagavata Purana, it is believed that the young girls worshiped on this day are forms of Goddess Durga. This is the reason why 9 girls along with 1 boy (called langur) are worshiped and treated with good food, also known as Kanjak Puja or Kanya Puja.
Maha Gauri Mantra:
Om Devi Mahagaurai Namah
Or Goddess Sarvabhuteshu Maa Gauri Rupen Sanstha
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