Navratri is the nine-day Hindu festival that celebrates the Supreme Goddess. During these nine days, goddess Durga is believed to visit devotees’ homes in her nine forms. There will be fasting, poojas and events during the festival. It also commemorates the killing of Ravana by Lord Rama.
During Navratri, people fast for nine days. During this time, the immunity of our body is weakened due to the change of weather. Eating light and nutritious meals keeps us healthy. Heavy foods like rice, meat, grains and regular salt can be hard to digest and cause gastric problems. Hence, certain dietary rules need to be followed during this period.
Navratri Fasting Rules and Guidelines
The process of fasting cleans our system from within. It is good to fast occasionally as it helps to remove toxins from the body and prevents obesity.
Navaratri Fasting rules
1. Bathe daily. One should be clean at all times. Ideally, one should bathe before 9 am.
2. Follow a diet which includes fruits, nuts, dairy products (milk, butter, etc.) and certain flours. The diet should be alkaline.
3. Offer food to the deities. Fruits and milk too can be offered.
4. Light a lamp every morning. Or light one on the first day and maintain it till the 9th day.
5. Recite shlokas from Durga chalisa or other mantras and devote them to Goddess Durga.
6. When the navratri festival ends, serve food to young girls as they represent Goddess Durga.
7. Keep your home clean always as it is believed that Durga visits devotees’ houses.
8. If fasting, avoid eating a full meal before sunset.
9. Don’t take drugs, alcohol, eggs, fish, meat, onions and garlic.
10. Avoid cutting your hair.
11. Avoid cutting nails or stitching.
Foods for Navaratri
During nine days of navratri, one needs to include ingredients like sabudana (tapioca balls), makhana (fox nuts) and kuttu ka atta (buckwheat flour). Many delicacies can be made during this period. They include sabudana khichdi and kheer, roasted makhana, mixed fruit salad, aloo (potato) ki khichdi, sooji (semolina) halwa, aloo ki kadhi, sabudana vada, sookhi arbi, kuttu atte ki puri, makhane ki kheer, paneer malpua, etc.