Ashtami or the 8th day of Navratri is one of the very dutifully celebrated days.
In my family [Mom’s family] we worship little girls/Kanjaka’s as Goddess Durga and seek their blessings. They are invited to the home and their feet are washed as a mark of respect for the Goddess Then they are offered gifts and food by the worshiper.
Due to change in lifestyle and working women around, the inviting girls at home got tweaked and we are allowed to give the offering to the girls without calling them our house. I followed suit and make little packets with 2 pooris, halwa, kala chana, banana, choco pie and INR 10.
I gave only one packet to a girl in our apartment. The rest were distributed to the less fortunate girls.
So like my mom has been doing for ages, I woke up early, took a bath and washed my hair [Its a part of the pooja ritual] and cooked the meal. I also made Dahi wale aalu for us in addition to the above. All the food was offered to the Godess. I performed the puja by reciting chants, Durga chalisa and aarti. A diya was made from wheat dough and it was lit with ghee and a cotton wick.
This Diya is then offered to a cow to eat or places under a tree of the temple.
This is the offering to the girls