The festival navrathri is dedicated to goddess durga and devotees across the globe fast for nine days, paying obeisance to the goddess. Navrathri fasting is believed to bring prosperity, health, and happiness to the devotee. There are some devotees who prefer fasting first and ninth day alone while some other prefers fasting three days during navrathri. Many people fast due to scientific reason and fasting once in a time period is good to detox yourself by sticking on to light meals.
1. Navrathri fasting procedure
There are two forms of fasting – rigorous and milder one. Devotees who follow the rigorous form of fasting doesn’t even drink water entire day. They will break the fast after performing evening puja and will stick on to one meal at night. People who are following a milder form of fasting will consume milk, fruit, juices and nuts entire day concluding with a dinner at night after the puja.
2. Navrathri fasting rules
When fasting during navrathri some foods you may consume includes milk, sago, potato, milk fruit, and dry fruits. For cooking make sure you use rock salt. The devotee must strictly stick on to a vegetarian meal. The purpose of fasting during navrathri is to cleanse your body and mind. A disciplined life, good thought, and prayer are what you want while fasting for the goddess durga. While performing navrathri puja morning and evening, devotees must sing a song praising Maa Durga and chanting Durga slokas.
3. A big NO for these things
You should abstain yourself from consuming any sort of non veg food and other things like alcohol, garlic, onion, spices, egg, and common salt. You should be strictly vegetarian these 9 days. For navrathri food instead of using common salt for cooking, you must use rock salt. All sorts of juice and milk products must be consumed without any preservative.
4. The rituals
Once decided you are going to take navrathri fast, you must definitely wake up early morning and pray Goddess Durga. You should lighten the diya in front of goddess twice a day. If you lighten the “akhand jyot” too it will be considered to be auspicious.
5. Popular fasting food
Samak rice is a popular fasting food and they are low on calories, very easy to digest. You can consume them with curd or potato curry. It is good to have curd when you are taking fast. It will keep your stomach full. Make sure you avoid eating fried food items while fasting. Always go for some light meals or fruits. Some popular food eaten during navrathri fasts are sabudana vada and khichdi, kuttu ki puri and singhade ka halwaa.
After 9 days are over, devotees will break the fast by performing kanya pujan where 7 or more virgin girls will be worshipped and treated with a grand meal and gift.