The nine-day long celebration is soon coming to an end. Many people usually celebrate kanjak on the last day before Dussehra. While halwa, chana, and poori is the classic kanjak combination devoured on this day, each culture celebrates it differently. Around this time, actor Hina Khan - who is also a self-confessed foodie - is devouring delicious treats that are coming her way, the latest being her ashtami lunch.

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Those who follow Hina closely know that the TV and film actor enjoys every festival equally and likes to do it the traditional way. Since Navratri fever is ongoing in the country, Hina decided to give herself an authentic treat on ashtami last afternoon. She dug into a yummy lunch, consisting of luchi and aloo dum. She wrote, “Ashtami lunch”, on her Instagram story.

We could see luchis (Bengali pooris), along with some aloo dum and a bowl of curd placed on a plate covered with banana leaf. The meal looked absolutely wholesome and delicious. In fact, this traditional Bengali combination is often devoured during Navratri in Bengali households.

Not just fried delicacies, non-vegetarian foods like meaty curries, biryanis and pulaos are a major part of Durga Puja celebrations in many parts of the country. Pandals are set up and everyone gets together to pray to the nine avatars of Goddess Durga while enjoying the dance and other festivities. On the other hand, Gujaratis and Rajasthanis indulge in traditional folk dances like garba and dandiya and dig into tasty snacks like fafda, khandvi, dhokla, and more.

The diverse ways in which these nine days are celebrated across households is a reflection of the beautiful cultural fervour that India enjoys. Be it the mangsho and aloo dum feasts in Bengali households or the sabudana vadas and khichdi prepared in other Hindu homes for Navratri, the essence of the festival lies in coming together and celebrating as a community.