Nepal: Young girls worshipped during 'Kumari Puja' celebrations

Kathmandu (Nepal), Sep 19 (ANI): Decked up in red-coloured finery, several young girls under the age of seven lined up to be worshipped turn by turn at the Basantapur Durbar Square in Kathmandu for the 'Kumari Puja'. It is a tradition that worships pre-pubescent girls as manifestations of Goddess Taleju. Taleju is the Nepalese name for Goddess Durga. The ritualistic tradition is held annually in the Himalayan nation. It is significant among its Newar community, which seeks the blessings of the Goddess to ward off bad luck and diseases. Mass worship of ‘Kanyas’ or girls held on Saturday was attended by 54 girls mostly dressed as Goddess Kumari. The worship is organized every year on the occasion of Indra Jatra by 'Kumari Puja Sewa Committee Bhaktajan Pariwar'. Nepal has a unique tradition of worshipping ‘Kumari’ the Living Goddess who is appointed at certain intervals of time following a strict selection process. Once she reaches puberty, the Kumari relinquishes her 'Living Goddess' title to another chosen girl.

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