Navratri Fast


Navratri Fast is observed by the Hindus during the month of Ashvin as per Hindu Lunar calendar, for nine days. This year Navratri falls from 21st to 29th of September.

As per legend Goddess Durga herself narrated the rules of the fast to an ardent devotee with which one can attain moksha or enlightenment.

The Fast

  • During these nine days people take bath in the morning and evening and follow a rigorous fast with only water.
  • Most devotees have a single meal a day after offering prayers to the Goddess in the evening.
  • Some remain on a diet of only milk and fruits during the entire length.
  • Non-vegetarian food, garlic, onion and alcohol are strictly prohibited.
  • Some devotees opt to keep a fast one day for every three days of the fast.

Food That is Allowed

  • Singhare ka atta (water-chestnut flour), sama ke chawal ka atta (barnyard-millet flour), rajgira (amaranth), rajgira ka atta (amaranth-flour), and kuttu ka atta (buckwheat-flour), replaces the normal wheat flour for making Indian pancakes like roti, puri and parantha.
  • Instead of normal rice banyard millet known as vrat ke chawal is used for plain rice, kheer and pulao.
  • Arrowroot flour is used as a thickener and binding agent

Spices And Herbs That Are Allowed

  • Cumin or cumin powder.
  • Black pepper powder and rock salt (sendha namak).
  • Green cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  • Dry pomegranate seeds.
  • Ginger including dry ginger powder.
  • Green chilli and lemons.
  • Carom seeds
  • Coriander, mint leaves, and curry leaves
  • Dry mango powder, chaat masala, and red chili powder.

Stay Healthy this Navratri

Navratri fast is actually very scientific. Navratri occurs twice a year; one during change of season from winter to summer and the second when the chill of the winter season starts setting in. Our immunity is lower during these periods and thus it is advisable to eat healthy, light and nutritious food. Here are a few tips on eating healthy during the Navratri festival:

  • Stay hydrated. Drink ample amount of water and other fluids like milk and fruit juices.
  • If you are taking mid-day meals opt for dry fruits and roasted makhanas to avoid acidity.
  • Sabudana or tapioca helps in boosting energy. Try including it in the meal that you partake.
  • Yoghurt will keep you cool and fresh
  • The potassium content of the rock salt to be used will be helpful in digestion, relieving gas and soothing heart burns.
  • Instead of binging on unhealthy options like pooris and pakodas have fruits salads.
  • Instead of deep frying the Indian savouries, try baking or grilling.
  • Paneer is one of the most healthy food items, easy to digest and a rich source of calcium. The good news is it is allowed during Navratri. Include it in your meals.
  • Maintain a balance in the intake of food items.

Wishing you all a Happy Navratri. Jai Mata Di!

Last Updated: 15th March, 2018