Chaitra Navratri is celebrated in the Hindu month of Chaitra that falls in the middle of spring and summer. Each of the nine days of Navratris is considered to be very auspicious in every Hindu household. People wake up early, bathe and pray to the nine forms of Goddess Durga (Nav Durga) to seek her divine blessings. Special poojas and havans are performed to welcome Goddess Durga to take shelter in their homes, who has descended from heaven to be amongst her devotees for nine days. This year, Chaitra Navratri will be celebrated from March 18 – March 25. Also Read - Happy Ashtami 2018: Know Date, Significance, Puja Muhurat and Prasad to End Chaitra Navratri
The festival is all about fasting, praying, eating different foods. In this period, your immunity decreases and your body is more prone to sickness and infections. By oberveing these fasts and restricting a heavy diet you are able to protect yourself and boost your immunity. It helps to cleanse and detoxify your body and relaxes your mind. From the Ayurvedic perspective, eating foods like meat, garlic, onion, grains and alcohol attract and absorb negative energies and should be avoided during seasonal change. (Also read: Chaitra Navratri 2018: Date, Importance And Significance Of The Day) Also Read - Chaitra Navratri 6th Day: Worship Maa Katyayani, the 6th Avtar of Goddess Durga; Maa Katyayani Mantra for Puja
Here’s the list of foods to avoid if you are observing the Navratri fasts:
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- Non-vegetarian foods like chicken, mutton, lamb, beef and eggs are to be strictly avoided during this time
- All your meals should be prepared without onion and garlic.
- Table salt is to be avoided but you can use rock salt (sendha namak) instead.
- Turmeric (haldi), asafoetida (hing), mustard (sarson or rai), fenugreek seeds (methi dana) and garam masala are also not allowed during your fasting phase.
- You also need to keep away legumes and lentils.
- Several types of flours need to be avoid including cornflour, rice flour, all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, gram flour and semolina are to be avoided. You can use buckwheat flour (kuttu) or water chestnut flour (singhare ka atta).
- You cannot have your regular rice and can only consume vrat ke chaawal, popularly known as Samak ke Chawal.