When there is a solar eclipse or lunar eclipse several Hindu communities keep Durva or Darba Grass on food items at home. There is a popular belief among some Hindus that food items become unusable after Chandra Grahan and Surya Grahanam. To avoid such damage and pollution of food during eclipse or grahan some Hindu communities keep Durva on such items.
Durva is known as arugam pul in Tamil, Darba Dhub, Durva and Haritali in Hindi (
Darba Grass is used in all important Hindu pujas and it is believed that the Durva grass appeared on earth from the body of Varaha, the boar incarnation of Lord Vishnu. There is also a belief that Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva are present in Durva grass and so Darba remains unaffected during Grahan.
Darba Grass is placed on top of milk, curd and other milk products, vegetables and fruits during an eclipse.