India is a country of festivals and celebrations. There are several occasions that are observed every month, round the year giving ample scope to indulge in joyous celebrations. India largely being a religious country, most of its festivals have sacred influences, practices and interesting mythological tales as well. Come spring and it is time for another major Indian Festival – Navratri or the sacred nine days that are observed in continuance. While the southern states of the country observe Ugadi and Gudi Padva, Navratri dominates northern India. Dedicated to Goddess Durga, this celebratory period starts during the ‘Shukla Paksha’ or waxing phase of the moon in the last month of the Hindu calendar, Chaitra. Also known as ‘Chaitra Navratri’ or ‘Vasant Navratri’, the festival draws to an end with ‘Ram Navami’, to celebrate the birth of Lord Rama. Read on to know more about the festival.
Ram Navami Celebrations
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Lord Rama who is worshipped as the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu and hailed as the greatest king of all times, was born to King Dashrath and Queen Kaushalya in Ayodhya on Ram Navami. This is day is observed all over the country with a religious fervor especially in places like Ayodhya, Ujjain, Rameshwaram, and Pondicherry. The day commences with people rising in the early hours, bathing and praying to the Lord, who liberated the earth from ‘adharma’ by defeating Ravana, the king of Asuras. Special puja is performed in every household apart from millions of devotees thronging at temples with their offerings. You can travel to these places to commemorate this festival and save on travel if you use coupons from Paylesser India.
Practices Observed During Navratri
Nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped during this period by devotees, with each form signifying a distinct power. Rising early in the morning, fasting, cleaning of houses, setting up of a picture or idol of the Goddess and morning prayers are some practices that are observed for these nine days. The goddess is bedecked with bangles, flowers, kumkum and other jewelry. People gather to sing ‘bhajans’ in the evenings and participate in singing glories of the goddess through the nights. Young girls who are considered a form of the goddess are worshipped on the last day. Special Food is prepared and offered along with gifts to these young girls.
Indulge in Special ‘Navratri’ Food
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India is a country that is marked for its diverse culture which also includes its food habits. People in different regions of the country try out various traditional recipes to celebrate ‘Navratri’ as well. Since people fast and eat only once a day, there are various food items in the menus of households. People who fast and observe this festival usually avoid onion, garlic, meat and even some grains as these are considered as a hindrance in religious practices. Fasting affects the immunity of the body and is more prone to negative energies which is why food mostly comprises of healthy ingredients that are easy to digest. Sabudana khichdi, Kuttu dosa or puri, Makhana kheer, Samosas made with Singhara aata, fresh fruits, milk, yoghurt, etc. are eaten popularly across households. You can order all delicious navratri food from Freshmenu buy using Freshmenu Coupons you can get hug discount. Rock salt or Sendha namak is substituted in place of actual salt. Even if you are not celebrating the festival, you can always try out these recipes to give a break to your regular food habits for some change.
Chaitra or Vasant Navratri is not simply a religious festival but helps people get over their fears and other negativities. It also helps to detoxify your body with simple meals and healthy diet. Participating in spiritual practices like meditating, chanting of mantras, rising early, etc. also help you get in touch with your inner self and progress on the path of spirituality.