THE auspicious festival of Navratri is here. The nine-day festival worships the nine different avatars of Goddess Durga while observing fast. The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy across the country.

Every year Navratri is observed twice as Chaitra Navratri and Shardiya Navratri. The one that falls from Septemeber- October is known as Shardiya Navratri. The rituals include observing fast for nine days, Navratri Ghatsthapana, Kanya Puja, Durga Aarti, Durga Chalisa, Durga Saptashathi Path and Garba and dandiya nights.

Amidst these rituals, fasts are most importantly observed in the right way to worship Goddess Durga and attain her blessings. Therefore, we bring to you the do's and don'ts that one must follow while observing fast.

1. On the first day of the Navratri, the devotees should get up early and take bath.

2. One should abstain from the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and non-vegetarian food during the nine days fasts of Navratri.

3. Devotees should avoid cutting nails, getting a haircut or shaving during fasting for Navratri.

4. As part of the fast, devotees can consume Kuttu, sama, milk, sabudana, potato and fruits to keep them full of energy.

5. Mustard and sesame oil should not be used during fasting for Navratri, one can use peanut oil or ghee.

6. Consumption of processed salt is prohibited, whereas you can use rock salt or sendha namak for your Navratri recipes.

7. Devotees should keep in mind to not sleep in the afternoon while observing fasts.

8. Children, pregnant women and ill people are not supposed to observe fast for Maa Durga.

9. Devotees who are observing Navratri fast for nine days should practice celibacy.

10. Always wear fresh and clean clothes while performing fast and other rituals of the festival.

11. Be kind and compassionate during these nine days of Navratri and offer praying to the nine different forms of Maa Durga during these nine days.

Posted By: Prerna Targhotra