The auspicious festival of Navratri is celebrated with much pomp by Hindus across the globe. There are two main Navratris that is marked every year – Chaitra Navratri and Sharadiya Navratri. Chaitra Navratri is observed at the cusp of Summer and Spring (March or April), and Sharadiya Navratri is celebrated in Autumn (October-November). The Sharadiya Navratri will begin on September 26 and end on October 5. Devotees mark this festival by keeping fasts during the nine days and praying to Goddess Durga for her blessings. While some mark the festival by observing fast for the entire nine days, others keep the fast for the first two or last two days of Navratri. And there are certain rules that one must follow while observing these fasts. Let’s look at the dos and don’ts of fasting during Sharadiya Navratri.
What things Do’s and don’ts
1. Do not get your hair cut or shaved during Navratri celebrations.
2. Avoid eating wheat and rice during the fasts and use alternatives like Kuttu ka atta, Singhade ka atta, amaranth flour, Barnyard millet/Bajra, and Sabu dana to prepare dishes like poori, kheer, pulao, khichdi, dhoklas, and many more.
3. Instead of regular table salt, use sendha namak (rock salt) for preparing dishes during Navratri.
4. Do not use seed-based oils or refined oil for preparing food during Navratri. Instead, go for pure ghee or peanut oil.
5. It is popularly known that garlic and onion are strictly avoided in the preparation of dishes during Navratris. One should also skip things like phaliyaan, rice flour, all-purpose flour, cornflour, lentils, and semolina.
6. Staying hygienic and clean is one of the most crucial aspects of Navratri. One should shower daily before starting their day, prepare prasad and offer food to the deity, and keep their house and surroundings clean.
7. It is important to do the Kalash Sthapana or Ghatasthapana on the first day of Navratri. It is one of the most significant rituals of the festival and should be done while Pratipada is prevailing.
8. Don’t forget to chant Durga artis, shlokas, and mantras to pray to Goddess Durga, and a diya needs to be kept in front of the deity every day. Additionally, girls are served food and worshipped on the last day of Navratri since they are considered Navdurga.