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Navratri is the festival of all Goddess Durga’s devotees, mainly a Hindu festival. The one for which everyone waits. In this festival, 9 days’ fasting are held, though not necessary, and worship of 9 different avatars of Goddess Durga is done. Chanting, singing devotional songs, Dhyana are held by Hindu community and others that consider this festival, and in some part of India, Garba, a type of dance form are also done for 9 days. In every part of India, there are different religious ways with which it is celebrated.
You all must be interested to know why this Navratri festival is held? There is an interesting story behind it and we also gonna tell what food you should eat and what you should avoid.
There are mainly four Navratri in a year but only two of them are celebrated. They are Chaitra Navratri and Sharad Navratri.
It is celebrated because Goddess Durga killed a demon named Mahisasura, who was spreading evil things on the earth, killing people, sages and saints and wanted to make the entire world demonic. People were totally in fear of him and wanted him killed and even Devtas, other angels were also afraid of him because he wanted to take over their abode, heaven. So all the people did urge and penance to praise Goddess Durga to save them from demon Mahisasura.
Goddess Durga answered their prayers and killed the demon Mahisasura in the battle and freed the earth and people from his atrocities.
Indirectly, it is the story of victory of Good over evil, that at the end only good karmas are paid and evil doers are punished. This battle was fought for 9 days, that’s why each day, a new avatar of Goddess Durga is worshipped.
So we have told you why Navratri is celebrated. On these nine days, people have fast. Some people keep it for the whole nine days and some only on important days between nine days’ period. During the nine days’ fast or on which it is done, people can’t eat regular food. Because there are different and special food is cooked for those people who have fast.
You can’t eat your usual flours and grains during the fast period. Little bit compromise you have to do during the fast!. You can eat Kuttu Ka Atta, which is also known by the name of Buckwheat Flour or Singhare Ka Atta, which Water Chestnut Flour. Apart from these, you can have Rajgira Ka Atta, known as Amarnath Flour, which is mostly preferred by the people.
If in your everyday routine you eat rice then there are alternatives for that also, which are Samai Ke Chawal or Samvat Ke Chwall, also known as Barnyard Millet, which can be used for making Khichdi, Kheer or Dhoklas. Many dishes you can make if you know the recipes.
Perhaps this is the blessing for you. You can eat as many fruits and nuts as you want to eat during the fast. Juices or fruit chaat and other mixtures or dishes of fruits and nuts you can eat. A total nurturing, full of vitamins, proteins and other beneficial elements you can get with the fruits based diet. Some people totally do fasting on fruits based diet.
During the fast one can’t eat table salt, the normal salt that we use in day-to-day life. Only rock salt that is also called Sendha Namak can be used in cooking. It is considered the superior salt in Ayurveda, which doesn’t have any high amounts of Sodium Chloride, which is made by evaporating sea water. On the other hands, which spice or flour one should use depends on one’s home traditions and region in which they live.
You can drink milk and other dairy products as curd, cheese, paneer, butter, ghee, and other dishes are prepared with milk and khoya. If you only want to remain on dairy products during the fast, you can drink lassi and buttermilk with which you can remain whole day hydrated.
You should avoid cooking in seed-based oils and refined oils. Desi ghee and peanut oil can be used and other than that it depends on your preference, though it also differs from region to region and city to city and state to state.
Whenever you are having fast, your fast relates food should be prepared without onion and garlic including lentils, legumes, cornflour, rice flour, semolina or whole wheat flour. Non-vegetarian food and alcohols must be avoided otherwise Goddess Durga would slay you and condemn you for having fast! Don’t worry we are just a little bit joking.
So we have told you why Navratri is celebrated and what food you should eat and what you should avoid. And on the other hand, people have their different religious beliefs according to which they observe the fast. In the end, we want to say Happy Navratri and May Goddess Durga bring blessings and prosperity to you.
By Payal Shivdasani | 06 Mar, 2020
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