Navratri is a nine-day festival where devotees worship Goddess Durga and her nine avatars. People fast during these nine days as a form of devotion and consume special food items meant to be eaten during fasting. Fasting also has certain health benefits and is proven to be the perfect time to start your fitness journey.
Navratri 2023 Start & End Dates
1st Day of Navratri (Pratipada): Sunday, 15th October 2023: Mata Shailaputri
On the first day of Navratri, which falls on Pratipada, Goddess Shailaputri is worshipped.
2nd Day of Navratri (Dwitiya): Monday, 16th October 2023: Mata Brahmacharini
On the second day called Dwitiya, Goddess Brahmacharini is worshipped. She is a form of Goddess Durga who reduces anger.
3rd Day of Navratri (Tritya): Tuesday, 17th October 2023: Mata Chandraghanta
This avatar of Goddess Durga is believed to have a third eye and fights against evil.
4th Day of Navratri (Chaturthi): Wednesday, 18th October 2023: Mata Kushmanda
Goddess Kushmanda is known to spread good energy and warmth to everyone. This day is dedicated to her.
5th Day of Navratri (Panchami): Thursday, 19th October 2023: Mata Skandamata
On this day people worship Goddess Skandamata who rules over planet mercury.
6th Day of Navratri (Shashti): Friday, 20th October 2023: Mata Katyayini
This avatar of Durga is known to kill the kind of demons. Women offer prayers on this day to get a peaceful and happy married life.
7th Day of Navratri (Maha Saptami): Saturday, 21nd October 2023: Mata Kalaratri
This day is dedicated to Goddess Kalaratri who fights evil spirits all over the universe. She is the most destructive avatar of Durga and rules over Saturn planet.
8th Day of Navratri (Maha Ashtami): Sunday, 22nd October 2023: Mata Mahagauri
On this day, people worship Mahagauri who wears white clothes and rides a bull. Kanya pooja - an event dedicated to young girls is celebrated.
9th Day of Navratri (Maha Navami) : Monday, 23rd October 2023: Mata Siddhidaatri
On this day, people worship Goddess Siddhidaatri, the 9th avatar of Durga.
Dussehra: Tuesday, 24th October 2023: Vijayadashami
The 10th day of Navratri is called Vijayadashami. This day marks the end of Ravan by Lord Ram and the perfect day for new beginnings.
Foods to enjoy during Navratri
A Traditional Navratri food list (falahari food list) includes foods that reduce digestive fire. It can be a combination of the following ingredients-
Buckwheat (kuttu) roti, shamak rice, dishes made from sabudana, water chestnut, suran, arbi, sweet potatoes, ghee, milk, buttermilk, Dahi, lauki, pumpkin and fruits such as pear, apple, papaya and coconut.
List of recipes/dishes that can be eaten during Navratri
1. Sabudana Tikki
2. Sabudana kheer
3. Arbi ki sabzi
4. Lauki ki sabzi
5. Shakarkandi (sweet potato) chaat
6. Singhare(water chestnut) ke pakode
7. Aloo tikki
8. Fruit salad
9. Fruit raita
10. Singhare aate (water chestnut flour) ki kadhi
Those who do not wish to fast can simply avoid certain food items like garlic, onion, garam masala, alcohol etc. Make sure you eat clean and have positive thoughts while you fast for the almighty.
Navratri Fasting Rules
1) Use rock salt instead of common salt
2) Avoid grains for the first few days
3) Avoid onion, garlic, tea, coffee, smoking and alcohol
4) Avoid overeating
5) Follow a vegetarian diet.
6) Use healthy cooking methods such as boiling, roasting and steaming.
Some fasting rules to follow-
1) Flours and grains - regular grains and flour like wheat and rice are not allowed. You can eat buckwheat flour, water chestnut flour, or amaranth flour. Sabudana is another item that you can use in making kheer, vadas and papads.
2) Fruits- You can eat all types of fruits during Navratri. Some people prefer eating only fruits and milk for all nine days.
3) Spices and herbs - Common salt is not used in cooking during Navratri. You can use rock salt instead. Cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, kokum, tamarind etc can all be used in Navratri cooking.
4) Vegetables - During Navratri you must avoid onions and garlic. You can eat vegetables like pumpkin, suran, carrot, tomatoes etc.
During Navratri, one must avoid non-vegetarian food, alcohol and junk food.
Although fasting is a traditional ritual and most people fast for spiritual purification, if you keep a track of your nutrition, it can also act as a form of detox and help you stay healthy. It is an ideal way to not just detox but also improve digestion and increase positivity in life. It is important to keep a track of nutrients and have a balanced diet while you are fasting so that you don’t suffer from deficiencies later. Eat light meals and eat in small quantities. When you break your fast at night avoid overeating, do not stuff yourself with food as it makes it difficult for your body’s digestive system to digest and undo the cleansing process.
7 Useful Tips For Navratri Fasting 2023
1) Include slow carbs in your diet - If you wish to lose weight and stay healthy then it is important to source the right kind of carbs which release energy slowly and help the body in the long run while you fast. You must include slow carbs in your diet for this purpose. Slow carbs such as whole grains, dry fruits, seeds, beans and vegetables are great to start with. These carbs have a lower glycemic index and release energy slowly thus keeping you full longer. Fast carbs such as bread, sugars, and fruit juices make you feel hungry often and add to your weight hence must be avoided.
2) Hydrate yourself - Dehydration may result in fatigue hence it is important to stay hydrated while you are fasting. Keep sipping fluids like water, coconut water, lemon water etc. that will satisfy your thirst and boost your energy levels. These will help curb hunger pangs and keep you hydrated. Make sure you avoid caffeinated beverages such as tea or coffee.
3) Dry Fruits you must have while fasting - Nuts and dried fruits are a powerhouse of energy and provide numerous health benefits. Include nuts like almonds, cashews and walnuts in your diet for all necessary nutrients and vitamins. Nuts and dried fruits also keep you full longer hence are a must-have while fasting. These help you crave less food thus helping you lose weight. You can now easily purchase a myriad of dry fruits online through NUTRAJ and include them in your fasting meals and Navratri recipes.
4) Exercise and meditate - While you take care of your diet it is also important to maintain a healthy state of mind. When you exercise your body releases hormones that make you happy hence some form of movement is essential even when fasting. Meditation is another activity you can take part in to focus on the present and fast with a calm and composed mind.
5) Cut down on refined sugar - While you take care of your diet it is also important to maintain a healthy state of mind. When you exercise your body releases hormones that make you happy hence some form of movement is essential even when fasting. Meditation is another activity you can take part in to focus on the present and fast with a calm and composed mind.
5) Stay Energised - While fasting, do not starve yourself for long hours if that’s not something your body can deal with. Stay energised while you are fasting by eating nuts and dried fruits, paneer and Dahi which can all add the necessary carbs and proteins to your diet. Make sure you include foods from different food groups to keep yourself energized and healthy.
7) Avoid deep-fried and outside food -While you are fasting, it is best to avoid outside food and oily and fried items. Outside food can be full of preservatives, oil and spices that may harm your health. It is considered apt to have a Satvik diet during Navratri Vrat, avoid onions, garlic, oily and fried items and eat more fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts. Even when you are not fasting this habit of eating less or no outside food will only help you lose weight and stay fit and healthy.
Use these Navratri rules and tips for all days of Navratri and enjoy the festival while experiencing spirituality and staying healthy.