Navigating Navratri 2023: Your Comprehensive Guide to Fasting Dos and Don’ts

The nine-day festival of Shardiya Navratri is upon us, and Maa Durga devotees are preparing for fasting, puja, and celebrations. The festival, celebrated with great fervor, varies in its traditions across India. Whether you’re in the colorful venues of Garba and Dandiya in Gujarat, the majestic pandals for Maa Durga in West Bengal, or the festive display of dolls and figures in Golu in South India, Navratri is a significant cultural event.

The Significance of Navratri Fasting

Navratri 2023 fasting dos and don

In North India, Navratri fasting is particularly popular. After the Kalash Sthapana on Day 1, devotees observe a nine-day fast, following the traditions of their family. The festival culminates with Navratri Paran, which includes Kanya Pujan, a ritual where young girls are invited for a treat of halwa puri and worshipped as kanjaks. Fasting during Navratri holds great spiritual and cultural importance.

General Rules for All

Even if you’re not fasting during Navratri, there are some essential rules to follow:

  1. Dietary Restrictions: Many people worship Maa Durga during the festival without fasting due to health conditions or personal choice. During this time, it’s advisable to avoid certain vegetables like garlic, onions, mushrooms, leeks, and shallots. The emphasis is on consuming sattvik ahaar, which not only fills you with devotion but also detoxifies your system.

  2. Personal Grooming: Cutting nails and shaving should be avoided as it is believed to bring bad luck during this auspicious occasion.

  3. Avoid Tamsic Foods: Alcohol and non-vegetarian foods are strictly prohibited during Navratri as they fall under the category of tamsic foods.

  4. Maintain Positivity: It’s not just about the purity of food and surroundings but also of thoughts. Avoid negative speech and gossip during this sacred period.

Navratri Fasting Rituals, Benefits, & Recipes - The Channel 46

For those observing a fast during Navratri, here are the specific rules to follow:

1. Sattvik and Vrat-Friendly Foods

Navratri fasting involves consuming sattvik (pure) and vrat-friendly foods. These are foods that are free from certain ingredients like onion, garlic, and other items considered tamasic. Instead, opt for:

  • Fruits: Fasting is an excellent time to indulge in a variety of fruits.
  • Milk and Dairy: Products like milk, yogurt, and paneer are ideal.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Include almonds, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds in your diet.
  • Buckwheat and Amaranth: These grains are commonly used in fasting recipes.
  • Potatoes: A versatile ingredient in Navratri cooking.
  • Sendha Namak: Use this rock salt in your cooking as regular salt is not allowed.
  • Special Sweets: Preparing sweets like sabudana kheer and singhara atta halwa is customary.

2. Pujas and Rituals

In addition to dietary restrictions, devotees also engage in various pujas and rituals, such as Ghatasthapana. This involves setting up a kalash (sacred vessel) as a symbol of Maa Durga’s presence in the household.

3. Kanya Pujan

On the day of Navami, the ritual of Kanya Pujan is observed. Young girls are invited into homes and offered blessings and food. This ritual is a symbol of honoring the divine feminine.


Navratri fasting during 2023 is an opportunity to immerse yourself in spirituality, cultural traditions, and delicious vrat-friendly cuisine. Whether you choose to fast or not, adhering to these dos and don’ts will help you celebrate this auspicious festival with reverence and joy.

Remember, Navratri is a time of devotion, celebration, and reflection, so embrace these traditions with an open heart. Navratri fasting rules 2023: Dos and don’ts to follow during 9 days of fasting offer a path to connect with divinity and inner peace.

Health and Wellness Tips During Navratri

Can you fast during Navratri?

Can you fast during Navratri?

Navratri is a time of devotion to Maa Durga, and while many choose to fast during this period, some may not fast due to health concerns or personal preferences. For those not observing the fast, it’s essential to adhere to specific guidelines to maintain the sanctity of the festival.

Here are key rules to follow when you’re not keeping vrat:

  • Avoid certain vegetables like mushrooms, leeks, and shallots during Navratri.
  • Embrace satvik ahaar, which promotes purity and devotion.
  • Refrain from activities like cutting nails and shaving during this auspicious time.
  • Steer clear of alcohol and non-vegetarian foods, as they are considered tamasic.

By respecting these practices, you can partake in the Navratri celebrations while not fasting, ensuring you are still aligned with the spiritual essence of the festival.

What foods should you not eat during Navratri fasting?

What foods should you not eat during Navratri fasting?

When observing Navratri fasting, it’s crucial to abstain from certain foods to maintain the sanctity of the ritual. Here’s a list of foods to avoid during this period:

  • Onion and Garlic: These pungent vegetables are typically restricted.
  • Okra and Brinjal: Vegetables like okra and brinjal are often not consumed.
  • Mushroom: Mushrooms are considered non-sattvik and are to be avoided.
  • Wheat, Rice, and Semolina: Grains like wheat, rice, and semolina are not part of the fasting diet.
  • Maida and Corn Flour: Refined flours like maida and corn flour are excluded.
  • Legumes and Pulses: Items like lentils and chickpeas are generally not eaten.

By adhering to these dietary rules, you can engage in Navratri fasting with a pure and devoted spirit, in keeping with the traditions of this auspicious festival.

When is Maa Durga fasting?

When is Maa Durga fasting?

The grand nine-day festival of Navratri is celebrated with immense enthusiasm throughout India, with devotees fasting to seek the blessings of Maa Durga. Fasting during this auspicious time can take various forms:

  • Nine-Day Fast: Many observe a complete nine-day fast, spanning the entire duration of Navratri.

  • Partial Fasts: Some choose to fast in segments, such as the first two days, last two days, the first or last day of Navratri, or any two days within the festival.

This flexibility in fasting allows devotees to align their spiritual practices with their personal preferences and traditions.

Can you eat peanut oil while fasting for Navratri?

Can you eat peanut oil while fasting for Navratri?

While fasting for Navratri, there are specific dietary considerations to keep in mind. Here’s what you need to know about using peanut oil and other alternatives:

  • Mustard Oil and Sesame Oil: These oils are typically refrained from during Navratri fasting.

  • Peanut Oil and Ghee: Peanut oil and ghee can be used as alternatives in your Navratri cooking.

  • Salt Choices: Avoid processed salt and opt for rock salt or sendha namak in your Navratri recipes.

Additionally, devotees should remember not to sleep during the daytime while observing their fasts, as this is considered an important practice during this auspicious period.

What are the rules for fasting for 9 days in Navratri?

What are the rules for fasting for 9 days in Navratri?

When fasting for the nine days of Navratri, it’s essential to follow specific rules to maintain the sanctity of this period. Here are the key guidelines to observe:

  • Avoid Fast Foods and Packed Foods: Steer clear of fast foods and packaged items that may not align with the purity of Navratri fasting.

  • Refrain from Certain Flours: Foods made from rice flour, cornflour, and semolina should be omitted from your diet during this time.

  • Stay Away from Tamsik Foods: Tamsik foods, which include onion, garlic, eggs, and meat, are strictly prohibited during Navratri fasting.

By adhering to these rules, you can ensure a spiritually and culturally rich fasting experience during the nine days of Navratri.

How to fast for Navratri 2023?

How to fast for Navratri 2023?

Fasting during Navratri involves observing certain practices to honor the spiritual significance of the occasion. Here’s a guide on how to fast for Navratri:

  • Grooming Restrictions: Refrain from activities like clipping nails, getting haircuts, or shaving the beard during the fasting period.

  • Fasting-Friendly Foods: As part of the fast, devotees can consume foods such as kuttu, singhara, sama, milk, sabudana, potatoes, and a variety of fruits to maintain energy levels.

  • Oil Choices: Mustard oil and sesame oil should be avoided while fasting for Navratri to adhere to traditional dietary guidelines.

By following these practices, you can participate in Navratri fasting with reverence and adherence to cultural traditions, making the experience spiritually enriching.

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