After the festival of colors, now it’s time to rejoice an auspicious festival of Hindus that is Chaitra Navratri. This year Navratri falls from April 6 to April 14. It is one of the most significant festivals in Hindus. The festival is widely celebrated in Punjab, Gujarat, and Maharashtra.
Navratri in Sanskrit means nine nights. The nine days are dedicated to nine avatars of the goddess Durga who is believed come from heaven to stay with their devotees for these nine auspicious days. The people pray the deity with offerings of flowers, fruits, and Prasad. Early morning poojas are also performed and houses are clean.
Significance of Chaitra Navratri
As per the ancient scriptures, there is 4 type of Navratri in a year but out of them only two of them namely Chaitra Navratri and Sharad Navratri are celebrated with enthusiasm. While Sharad Navratri is celebrated in September and October, Chaitra Navratri is celebrated in spring season between March and April. Amid the nine days, Hindus refrain from eating non-vegetarian food, drinking alcohol and even quit smoking. They consume light food which is cooked without onion and garlic. The logic behind this fasting has a deeper meaning. Both Sharad Navratri and Chaitra Navratri are celebrated around season change. During these seasonal transitions, our immunity and the digestive system tends to weaken a lot, which is why it is advised to eat light during that time.
The nine forms of Durga, Shailputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skandmata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Maha Gauri and Siddhidatri are worshipped and different offerings are made to them on the 9 days dedicated to each avatar.
This year Chaitra Navratri will conclude on 14th April that is Ram Navami. According to legends, Lord Rama was born on this auspicious day.
Food for Chaitra Navratri
There are plenty of vrat friendly ingredients you can try to incorporate in your vrat or sattvik diet. Sabudana, kuttu or buckwheat, makhana, ragi, potatoes are some vrat favorites you can experiment with. Vegetables like, sweet potatoes, bottle gourd, potatoes, colocassia, chana can be used to prepare soothing curries. Make sure to keep yourself hydrated, drink a lot of coconut water, thandai and buttermilk throughout the fasting to make sure you have a constant inflow of nutrients.