The festive season is here and Hindus all across India are gearing up to celebrate one of the most significant festivals of the year – Sharad Navratri. For the unversed, we have four Navratris in a year – two of which are celebrated with much fervor. One falls during the spring season (Vasanta) and is called Chaitra Navratri, and the other falls in the month of Ashwin (during September-October). And it is called Sharad Navratri. A nine-day festival, Sharad Navratri is observed in honour of Devi Durga. For nine days (and nights), nine avatars of Goddess Durga is worshiped, with devotees observing ritualistic fasts, puja et al.
Sharadiya Navratri 2021: Date And Time:
This year, Sharad Navratri begins on October 7, 2021 and ends on October 15, 2021 with Viajayadashami (or Dussehra).
October 7, 2021:Pratipada
October 8, 2021:Dwitiya
October 9, 2021:Tritiya
October 10, 2021:Panchami
October 11, 2021:Sasthi
October 12, 2021:Saptami
October 13, 2021:Ashtami
October 14, 2021:Navami
October 15, 2021:Vijayadashami
Sharadiya Navratri Tradition: 5 Fasting Rules To Follow:
During the festival, people fast for nine days and seek blessings from Goddess Durga. Devotees offer their puja and indulge in light Sattvic meals made with kuttu atta, sweet potato, sabudana et al. While indulge in vrat ka khana, others prefer having fruits throughout the day. And those of us who are familiar with the Navratri fasts, known well about the popular sabudana khichdi, kuttu puri, singhade ka halwa et al. Fasting rituals may vary from family to family, but there are a few rules that remain common for all. Let’s take a look.
Here are 5 basic rules one must keep in mind while fasting:
1. Avoid Maida/Atta:
During this time of the year, devotees conventionally include singhade ka atta and kuttu atta in their meal, instead of regular flour.
2. Avoid Common Salt:
As per tradition, Sattvic bhojan is prepared with rock salt, instead of common salt. Rock salt not only makes the food light, but also provides ample cooling properties to our body.
3. Load Up On Fruits:
Fruits are a storehouse of energy. This is why it is always advised to include fruits in our diet to load up on energy and essential nutrients.
4. Consume Milk Products:
Include milk, dahi, lassi, paneer, chaas etc to your diet and compensate for the lost energy. Besides, milk also helps refuel you with several essential nutrients including calcium, fibre and protein.
5. Avoid Onion, Garlic:
Ingredients like onion, garlic, rice, dal, sooji etc should be avoided while preparing sattvic bhojan for fasts. Besides, alcohol and non-veg foods are also a strict no-no while observing ritualistic fasts.
Happy Navratri 2021, everyone!