For those who follow Hinduism, Navratri is an extremely auspicious occasion. It is celebrated each year with a lot of enthusiasm across the country of India with much aplomb. The festival falls in Ashvina month of the Hindu calendar. This year, the festival will begin on October 17th and end on the 22nd of October. During this festival, which is nine days long, people observe a fast and offer prayers to the different incarnations of Goddess Durga. The fasting will end after the kanya pujan, which occurs on the eighth and ninth day of the festival. While the festival is of great significance, one must follow a couple of rules if they observe the festival. Hindus believe that if they obey the rules and fast the right way for those nine days, they will receive wealth and prosperity in the future. So here are the ten rules that those celebrating Navratri should follow:
1. Cutting Your Hair And Nails
Cutting off your hair or using a nail cutter to trim or cut your nails during this festival is strictly prohibited. Many who celebrate this festival believe that cutting your hair and nails will anger the Goddess and lead to you facing the wrath of her fury. If your job requires you to be clean-shaven, it’s okay if you shave a few times, but you must avoid cutting your nails and hair for those nine days.
2. Eating Non-Vegetarian Food
Many Hindus do not eat non-vegetarian food during religious festivals. For the nine days of Navratri, non-vegetarian food should not be eaten. Besides not eating non-vegetarian, you should not eat onion, garlic, or drink alcoholic beverages during this festival. Doing so is considered as breaking the rules of the fast.
3. Slicing Lemons
Slicing or cutting lemons is considered highly inauspicious during the festival of Navratri. This is especially so for people who are observing a fast during this time. If you really want to have lemons or drink lemon juice, you can always purchase lemon juice from a shop and use that instead. This won’t be breaking any festival rules.
4. Eating Fried Foods
One of the biggest reasons why the festival of Navratri is so important is because it is observed as a time for fasting and detoxing the body. So this is why it is advised to avoid eating food that contains a lot of spices and oils. One is advised to eat food that is considered “sattvic” foods like legumes, vegetables, fruits, certain spices, herbs, and more.
5. Fasting Till You Fall Sick
While many people choose to fast during this festival, starving yourself for long periods is not advised. This is especially the case if you have iron deficiencies, low blood pressure, or are prone to fainting. It would help if you consumed small meals throughout the course of the day to keep yourself energized. You can consume foods that are considered “sattvic”.
6. Sleeping During The Afternoon
As per certain rules in the “Vishnu Puran”, which is a sacred book in Hinduism, it is vital that you avoid sleeping early during the day, like in the afternoon. It is believed that all the good karma that is obtained from the fasting you do will be null and void if you sleep during the afternoon.
7. Letting The Diya’s Light Fade Out
If you are observing the fast and decide to light an Akhand Jyoti during the festival, you need to make sure that it is kept lit up at all times. Letting the diya’s flame die out will be extremely inauspicious. You need to also keep checking it regularly and adding ghee to it. If you are not present in the house to light the diya, you will need to ask someone to keep checking on it.
8. Using Products Made Of Leather
People who are observing the fast during Navratri, should avoid wearing products that are made of leather. This includes shoes and belts as well. You also need to make sure that you are wearing fresh and clean clothes throughout your fast.
9. Not Taking Care Of The Kalash
If you want to keep the “kalash”, a pot filled with water and grain, in your house, you will need to take good care of it. The pot is considered extremely holy, and many observing the fast sometimes fail to take proper care of it. Avoid doing this as it is deemed to be inauspicious.
10. Not Being Polite To People
Those who are observing a fast during the festival of Navratri, need to make sure that you are not mean and rude to anybody. It’s essential to keep your calm and not engage in bad mouthing and fighting with anybody. Be as courteous and polite as you can be.
It’s beautiful to see the unique and exciting festivals that we, as Indians, celebrate. Whether you are religious or not, you cannot deny that there are many positives to celebrating so many festivals. Do let us know all of your thoughts on this article in the comment section below!