Fasting During Navratri
Navratri is a festival dedicated to the worship of the Hindu Goddess Durga. As the word Navratri means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit, as the word nava refers nine and ratri refers nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Goddess are worshiped. The tenth day is commonly celebrated as Vijayadashami or “Dussehra”). Navratri is an important major festival and is celebrated with great passion all over India among hindus. Diwali the festival of lights is celebrated twenty days after Dusehra.
Fasting during Navratri is done the nine days before Dussehra.
Navaratri is celebrated five times a year. Of these five, the Sharad Navaratri of the month of Puratashi and the Vasanta Navaratri of the Vasanta kala are the most important. Other two are celebrated only by shaktas only.
The festival is famed for nine nights once every year during the beginning of the month October, although as the dates of the festival are determined according to the lunar calendar, the festival may be held for a day more or a day less.
Fasting During Navaratri is celebrated in different ways all through India. In North India, all three Navaratris are celebrated with much faith by fasting on all nine days and worshiping the Goddess Durga in her different forms. The Chaitra Navratri terminates in Ram Navami and the Sharad Navaratri terminates in Durga Puja and Dussehra. In north The Dussehra of Kullu in Himachal Pradesh is particularly famous. In Gujarat also, Navratri is one of the main festivals. After worshipping Durga people perform a dance form named Garba on all nine nights, in groups with live orchestra or devotional songs.
In most regions of India Navratri is divided into sets of three days to impress three different aspects of the supreme goddess or goddesses.
· In the first three days of fasting, the goddess Durga is worshipped in form of Kali in order to vanish all our evil deeds.
· Second three days: The Mother is prayed as a giver of wealth, Goddess Lakshmi, who is considered to have the power of awarding on her believers wealth, as she is the goddess of wealth.
· On the last three days, the Goddess of wisdom, Saraswati is worshipped in order to gain every success in life. Devotees seek the awards of all the three divine Goddess, on the nine days of fasting and worship.
On tenth day Dussehra is celebrated as conquer of evil by truth.
Foods consumed when fasting during Navratri are:
· Most people limit themselves to fruit during the nine days/nights.
· Some people confine themselves to water and break their fast at night after prayer.
· Some devotees take a single meal during the day/night, and non-vegetarian food is strictly prohibited.
· Also, in making the food during fast onion and garlic is not used.
· One of ideal foods which is consumed during Navratri fasts is sabudana vada.
· The fast is broken during night after worshipping their Goddess Durga or her other forms.
Some of major food items consumed during fasting are:
Paasi paruppu (moong dal) Sundal
Pattani (yellow peas) Sundal
Black bean Sundal
Pachai payaru (green moong) Sundal
Karamani (black eyed peas) Sundal
Soya bean sundal
Puri Chana and Halwa
Makhane Ki Sabzi
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