Ram Navami is the last day of Vasant Navaratri. Associated with the worship of Goddess Durga and Lord Rama, this is one of the most prominent Hindu festivals.
According to the Hindu customs, Ram Navami is the day to commemorate the birthday of Lord Vishnu’s seventh incarnation, Lord Rama. It is an annual Hindu festival which falls on the Shukla Paksha Navami (ninth day of Shukla Paksha) in the month of Chaitra. In general, the festival falls in the month of March or April every year according to the Gregorian calendar.
The festival of Ram Navami is a spring festival with significant importance to the Vaishnavism custom of Hindu religion. Lord Rama is the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu and son of Dasaratha, the King of Ayodhya, and Queen Kaushalya.
This festival is a part of the spring festival i.e.Vasnat Navaratri. Thus, the celebration of Ram Navami takes place on the ninth day of the nine consecutive days Navaratri.
The name of this festival draws its roots from the birth of Lord Rama. In accordance with the Rama Katha, this day is known as RamNavami because on this day Shree Ram takes birth on the ninth Shukla Paksha of Chaitra month.
On this day, Hindu devotees visit the temple, perform aarti, observe fast, and worship Shree Ram.
Hindu mythologies tell us the incarnation of Gods takes place to restore our beliefs in goodness. The incarnation of Lord Vishnu as Shree Ram has the same significance for Hindus.
In the Tetra Yug, Lord Ram takes birth to end the brutal demons from the earth. He takes birth to end the rule of demon king Ravana and end cruelty of other demons.
Shree Ram is the emblem of righteousness. He slays Ravana and maintains the positivity and exemplifiesDharma. The festival has the significance of the victory of good over evil and the victory of Dharma over Adharma.
On the day of celebration, one can hear the sound of melodious Bhajan or devotional songs and puja aarti. The festivity of RamNavami has numerous forms across the country and people from different regions celebrate the festival in their traditional styles.
From grand-scale Aarti to Rath Yatra and fasting, the day has several rituals across India. People worship Lord Rama, Goddess Sita, Lord Hanuman, and Lakshman on this auspicious day. Along with this, in the West and North portions of the country, devotees worship Goddess Durga and organize Kanya Poojan and present delectable offerings to young girls with the belief of presenting food to Goddess Durga.
In temples, numerous Bhajan programs, puja pandals, and Bhandara take place on this prosperous day.
The chanting of Sunderkand and bhajans are organized and during these programs, the narration of greatness of Lord Rama can be heard by anyone. Also, the temples organize detail narration of Ramayana Path to present the entire chanting of Ramayana. Many people organize these functions at their homely temples.
Each temple arranges to chant of Valmiki Ramayana for nine days. The chanting begins on the festival of Ugadi and concludes of the final day of Vasant Navaratri or on Rama Navami.
On the birthplace of Ayodhya, people organize huge fairs and set the stall for foodstuff and games. The large swings and jhoolas are the major attraction of these fairs. Also, the devotees prepare and decorate large chariots that carry worship idols of Lord Rama, Goddess Sita, Lakshman, and Lord Hanuman. Devotees carry a grand procession on this day to celebrate the birthday of Lord Rama.
Additionally, people perform proper cleaning of their house and put images of Lord Rama, Goddess Sita, Lakshman, and Lord Hanuman to welcome them in their home.
They present flowers, fruits, sweets, and numerous other offerings in their feet and light the earthen lamps and seek the blessings for their family. The worship has two large plates among which one contains the Prasad (offerings) and the other contains camphor, conch, flowers, roli, rice, turmeric, water, milk, curd, and other necessary puja items.
The customs begin with the youngest member of the family applying tika on the forehead of all the other family members. Afterward, every member participates in the customs of puja. Later, havan takes place in which people offer puri, halwa, ghee, and hawan samagri to the holy flame of hawankund.
When the hawan concludes, people perform aarti and sing devotional songs. Later, the eldest member of the family distributes the offerings to the entire family.
Lord Rama or Shree Ram or Purushottam Rama orKamalnayana is a divine deity. In accordance with the Hindu mythological tales, in Treta Yug he takes birth as the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu to mark the end of cruel demons and bring harmony and righteousness in the world.
He performs the due duties with perfection and the tale of his entire existence and journey is known to people in the form of the epic of Ramayana.
Lord Rama exemplifies the great historic events in Hindu mythology and gives lessons on how good always triumphs over evil. Therefore, the occurrence of Ram Navami is celebrated in the form of his birth anniversary every year.
Each year, millions of Hindus worship Shree Ram on the occasion of Ram Navami and observe fast.
The festival of Ram Navami observes a grand festivity every year. A great number of Hindu devotees organize and perform aarti and puja on this occasion. However, the customs of the festival has countless forms.
On this day, devotees wake up early in the morning. They take bath, offer water to Lord Sun because Surya Dev is believed to be the ancestor of Lord Rama. Later, the cleaning of the worship area of the house takes place. Everyone decorates the temple beautifully and put images of infant ShreeRam in small swings.
Afterward, the chanting of Mantra from the Holy book Shri Ramacharitmanas begins in the noon. Meanwhile, bathing of the worship idols of Shree Ram takes place. He is dressed in beautiful clothes and offered flowers in feet.
Ayodhya is the birthplace of Shree Ram. Thus, the celebration of Ram Navami occurs on a grand level in every temple and house of Ayodhya.
For the people of Ayodhya, this festival holds major importance. On this day, devotees take a dip in the Saryu River with the belief of washing off the mistakes. Nearly every person in Ayodhya observes the fast on this day to show gratitude towards Shree Ram and his greatness.
In the Northern parts of India, people celebrate two festivals together on this day. First is Durga Puja for Vasant Navaratri and the other is Ram Navami.
On a grand scale, the temples observe aarti and Kanya poojan. Alongside this, people also perform Akhand Ramayana Path.
Devotees observe fast of 9 consecutive days for the Vasant Navaratri and open it on the day of Ram Navami after a given muhurat by the Astrologers.
The fasting allows consumption of fruits, special sweets made without any grain. Therefore, devotees cook foodstuff of Kuttuflour, fruits, and selective liquids apart from water.
For the people of South India, this day has the significance of marriage anniversary of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita.
Here, this day is a symbol of love, attachment, goodness, and dedication in the relationship of husband and wife. The sea of Rameshwaram observes a good number of devotees taking a bath on the day of Rama Navami.
Here are the best food suggestions that you can try on the occasion of Ram Navami-
Dishes to try on the fasting days-
Sweets- Aloo Halwa, Sabudana Kheer, Kaju Katli and Peda.
Drinks- Meethi Dahi, and Chaach.
Snacks- Fried Makhana, Fried Peanuts, Kuttu Pakodi.
Meals- Sabudana Khichdi, Samvat Rice Khichdi, Kuttu Kachauri, Kuttu Khichdi, and Vrat Aloo.
Dishes for Ram Navami Celebration-
Sweets- Sooji Halwa, Sabudana Kheer, Rabdi, Peda, and Kheer.
Drinks- Lassi, Meethi Dahi, and Chaach.
Snacks- Chana Masala, Rawa Uttapam, and Rajgira Paratha.
Special Dish from South India- Panakam, NeerMor, and Vadai Parupu.
Meals- Chana Masala, Puri & Jeera Aloo, and Samvat Rice Pulao.
In point of facts, the festivity of Ram Navami celebrates the prosperous appearance of Shree Ram in the epic of Ramayana.
On the auspicious time of spring, entire country rejoices together on the ninth day of Shukla Paksha in the form of Shree Ram’sbirthday. Also, this day holds tremendous importance in the Hindu religion because this day celebrates the day of Lord Vishnu’s reincarnation’s centennial.
This year, the festival of Ram Navami falls on Thursday, 2 April. Also, here are the dates of Ram Navami Next Five Years-
These were some major details about the festival of Ram Navami. Also, you may like to know about the untold story of the warrior who could finish Mahabharata in 30 seconds.