The festival of navratri is dedicated to the nine forms of goddess Durga. Our ancient texts like ‘navratri vrat katha’ which pushes importance of nirja (sans water) and nirahar (sans food). The fasting during Chitra and Ashwin months helps in elevating the body. Vrat during navratri is one of the most sacred of fasting rituals among devotees of Goddess Durga.
It has been seen that Navratri vrat has been beneficial to the married couple for a happy and prosperous life. The Navratri fast starts from the first day and goes on through the whole nine days. Some people do it by taking a gap which is perfectly fine. Usually, devotees break their fast on the ninth day (navami). The ritual permits them to break their fast in the evening of the ninth day after pooja.
On these days, devotees are not permitted to eat meat, fish, eggs, alcohol, onions, garlic, salt or salty food, and other species. Some devotees only consume milk and fruits to live through all nine days which needs a very strong dedication. The most famous foods are tea, coffee, milk, cooked potato with rock salt which is permitted. These dishes are quite famous among devotees who are on a partial fast during Navratri.
Products made from milk and dry fruits can also be eaten. Men and women can both follow the rules of Navratri vrat and they are free to decide how many days they are willing to fast. For instance, some devotees only fast for three days and some fast for only the end days i.e. first day and the last day.
The procedure is easy,you have to take early bath and dress up in clean and laundered clothes. Then you will have to perform the pooja ritualistically which comprises chanting mantras, lightning deep, reciting shlokas and offering prasad to Goddess Durga. If you are fasting partially, the same rule applies to you as it is applied on all devotees who are fasting. Food prepared must not contain common salt, onion and garlic. It is believed that these foods induce negative vibrations.
People who are fasting follow some other rules like sleeping on the floor, not shaving or cutting nails, staying away from recreational activities. They also get involved in charity work as it is satisfying for the devotees.