That time of the year navratri 2021 is almost here, where people celebrate nine nights with lots of dance, excitement, lights, colours and happiness along with their friends and families – yes, it’s NAVRATRI!
Navratri is the biggest festival of India that people celebrate with full grandeur and liveliness across the states. The importance and celebration of Navratri might vary from state to state, but it’s no doubt that it is the most significant Hindu festival.
Navratri 2021 begins on 7th October and will end on 15th October. On 15th October, Dusshera will be celebrated, which will also mark the end of Navratri. As the name suggests, Navratri means nine nights wherein devotees worship Goddess Durga in this celebration.
Followers idolise nine forms of Goddess Durga viz Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Shailaputri, Skanda Mata, Kalaratri, Kushmanda, Katyayani, Siddhidatri and Mahagauri. In essence, each of the nine days is dedicated to nine forms of Goddess Durga.
Why Do We Celebrate Navratri and What is its Significance?
The story around Navratri is related to the battle between Goddess Durga and Mahishashura. Lord Brahma had granted Mahishashura immortality and told him that only a woman could defeat him. No gods were able to defeat him, and so Goddess Durga came into the play.
Mahishashura would take various forms to confuse Goddess Durga, but eventually, he got killed with Goddess Durga’s Trishul. No wonder Goddess Durga is regarded as the representation of ultimate strength (shakti), and, as said, she possesses eternal power that one cannot create or destroy. Every day of Navratri has a distinct colour attached to it.
Navratri is celebrated as Durga Puja in the East and Northeast parts of India, where the festival implies the triumph of Goddess Durga over Mahishashura. While in Northern and Western parts of India, a retelling of Ramayana is held, on the last day of Navratri, i.e., Dusshera, where effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Meghnad are set on fire to indicate Lord Rama’s victory over Ravana. Thus, Navratri itself signifies the victory of good over evil.
During these nine days of Navratri, people keep fasts, visit plays where the story of Lord Rama is exhibited, Garba and dandiya programmes are organized by community people and organizations, and Kanya puja is performed.
Navratri 2021: How to Stay Safe from Coronavirus?
Amidst the global Covid-19 pandemic, the Navratri celebration has been quite unusual for the last two years now. With Navratri 2021 inching closer, excitement for Garba is pretty high, but still people worry about getting Covid-19 infection.
So, here are some ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from contracting the virus.
Precautions to Stay Safe from Covid-19 During Navratri:
- The most basic and preventive measures you need to take when stepping out are to wear a mask, maintain social distance, wash hands using soap & water and use a hand sanitizer, if you touch any surface.
- For ensuring extra protection, you can also apply a natural face shield gel by RxSAFE that kills 99.9% of germs, viruses and bacteria and protects against Mucor mycosis.
- Make sure you keep a distance from anyone unwell or who have the slightest of Covid symptoms. Many people contracting the virus could be asymptomatic, so keep a check on your health and notice the smallest changes.
- Try celebrating Garba 2021 with your friends and family in society. Celebrating with a limited number of people would reduce the risk factor.
- Even though now vaccines are available, you need to follow necessary precautions like wearing a mask or maintaining social distance. Do not live in the presumption that if you have got the vaccine, you do not have to take any preventions, and you will not contract the virus.
- You should avoid eating food in crowded places. It makes more sense to avoid eating outside during Navratri since many people would be out there spreading the virus extensively. Besides that, outside food can lead to stomach infections if it’s not of good quality, thus weakening your immunity.
- The best way to greet each other during festivity is using Indian ”Namaste”. Using namaste instead of shaking hands would prevent spreading the virus in public events, as it will avoid physical touch.
How to Keep Your Immunity High During Navratri 2021?
Many people keep fast during Navratri, and fasting can impact your immune system. So, if you’re keeping a fast or not keeping one, follow the below-stated tips to keep your immunity raised.
- Make sure to have a good calorie intake. If you cannot take proper meals due to fast, then consider eating fruits, dry fruits, seeds and juices to keep your calorie in check, provide you with stamina and boosts your immunity. Consider eating any easily digestible food.
- You should develop a habit of sleeping 8 hours. If you do not get adequate sleep, your body becomes more vulnerable to infections. Plus, during sleep, our immune system release proteins having protective properties against infection and inflammation. So, depriving yourself of sleep decreases the production of such proteins.
- When you’re on a fast, it becomes challenging to drink a lot of water since you’re not eating much. However, water is a must for body cleansing, removing toxins, providing hydration and maintaining overall health. So, hydrate yourself by taking lemon water, fruit juices, milkshakes, coconut water, milk etc.
- Walk or exercise every day since it increases blood circulation, circulation of antibodies and WBC. Regular physical exercise reduces stress and does not lower down your immunity.
What Should you Avoid During Navratri in these Times of Distress?
- Do not starve yourself because starving releases stress hormone that lowers the immune response. So, in case you’re fasting, chart your fast meals at small intervals.
- Eat fruits and gulp down on energy booster drinks on a timely basis. Also, avoid eating fried food and sweets.
- Anyone who is unwell or have a chronic illness such as cardiac issues, kidney ailments, diabetes, asthma or breathing disorders, then they should not be fasting.
Must-have Essentials You Need this Navratri:
Dandiya: Well, what more could be safer than taking a dandiya along with you for Garba in times of social distancing. Doing raas with dandiya is a lot of fun, and you don’t even have hand touch with your dandiya partner, thus reducing the risk of spreading the virus or contracting it.
Shoes: Go for comfortable flats or mojris for this Garba. Wearing those jazzy pumps would make your feet aching and uncomfortable. In case you’re a Garba lover, then dancing without any footwear on is something you will prefer the most.
Jewellery: Jewellery is something that enhances your Garba look. It is a huge part of your Navratri attire. So, you should get some antique jewellery and experiment with your outfit. For all the boys, even you should not shy away from wearing jewellery this Garba.
Deotize: Garba can exhaust you – so much dancing can lead to sweat and unpleasant odour, so to protect yourself from embarrassment, you need a Deotize, a deodorant cum sanitizer. Deotize not just makes you smell great and feel refreshed, but with its sanitizing effects, it also kills 99.9% of germs, viruses and bacteria, so you stay protected and fresh the whole night!
Hand Sanitizer: You cannot do without a hand sanitizer in current times. While going out for Garba, do not forget to carry a hand sanitizer with you. Make sure you use hand sanitizer whenever you touch a surface or shake hands but do not overuse it.