Navratri, the nine sacred days of worshipping Goddess Durga began on 1st October. During this period of festivity, the three forms of the Goddess—Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati are invoked. It is one of the most vibrant festivals which is celebrated at the same time in different ways in different parts of the nation. For instance, in Gujarat, Dandiya is the highlight of this festival and in Bengal, Durga Puja is celebrated with a lot of vigour and zeal. However, apart from the fun and fiesta, there is a list of do’s and don’ts which one must adhere to during this auspicious period. Here are a few of them:
What to do during Navratri
Visit the temple daily
Worship Goddess Durga daily, light lamp, offer flowers, and perform aarti to seek blessings of the Goddess.
Offering water to the Goddess is considered to be very auspicious during Navratri.
Stay bare-foot and wear clean clothes
If you are not going out then stay bare-foot inside your home and don’t let shoes/slippers worn outside entering your place. Leave them near the doorstep. Also, dress up in clean clothes.
Those who can, should observe fasts for the period of nine days. Fasting is an integral part of Navratri and it is done to please the Goddess and seek her blessings. Besides, fast is a good way to keep the body healthy as it cleanses the body of toxic materials.
Decorate Goddess Durga
‘Shringar’ or adornment of the Goddess is very significant and is also seen as a mark of respect towards the Goddess. Decorate her with flowers, garlands, clothes, bangles, etc.
Perform Kanya puja on Ashtami
On the eighth day of Navratri i.e. Ashtami, Kanya puja (feeding little girls) is done. Usually, nine girls are invited, their feet are washed and delicacies are fed to them.
Light Akhand Jyoti
People light Akhand Jyoti that keeps burning throughout the nine days. Akhand Jyoti brings happiness and prosperity and it is very auspicious to light it during Navratri. Use desi ghee preferably to light the jyoti as it is considered to be very pure. If desi ghee isn’t available, you can use any other vegetable oil but avoid using mustard oil.
It is advisable to maintain brahmacharya for the period of nine days.
What you shouldn’t do during Navratri
Avoid garlic and onion.
Avoid shaving and cutting your hair during Navratri.
Avoid consuming meat and poultry foods.
Avoid consumption of alcohol.