Ram Navami Celebrations aims to mark the birth of Lord Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. According to Hindu calendar, the Ram Navami ceremony falls on the ninth day of the month of Chaitra. As per English calendar, this event takes place around the months of March and April. In some place of India, people call this festival as 'Sri Rama Navratri' as they celebrate it for the nine days of the 'Navaratras'. The term 'Nava' indicates nine and 'ratras' means nights. This is also the time when the worship of the Hindu Goddess Durga takes place.
On this auspicious day, the followers of Lord Rama start their rituals by offering prayer to the Sun in the morning. After that, they pray to God by reciting Vedic hymns from the religious books like 'Ramacharitamanas' and 'Ramayana'. The well-decorated temples arrange for detailed rituals like Havana and perform devotional songs like bhajan and kirtan to celebrate the sacred event of the birth of Rama.
Fruits and sweets act as the religious offering which the priests distribute among the devotees at the end of the worship. The followers celebrate this day by remaining fast for the whole day. They finish the fast at midnight after having fruits or sweets.Chariot Parade during Ram Navami
Chariot parade on the event of Ram Navami is an important part of this religious ceremony. Followers in large number take part in the procession. They place the statues of Lord Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman made of wood or stone in a beautifully decorated chariot after their worship at temples and go for a procession. In some places of India, four persons personifying the mythological characters of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman climb on this chariot to take part in the procession.Ramlila during Ram Navami
Ramlila is a dramatic portrayal of the life of Rama and his battle with Ravana. This play is a crucial part of Ram Navami celebration. Generally, actors perform it in an open air stage. At present, the idea of Ramlila has gained popularity around the world.Places Remarkable for Ram Navami Celebration
As the birthplace of Lord Rama, Ayodhya celebrates Ram Navami with great devotion. A large number of devotees of Lord Rama take a holy bath in the holy river of Sarayu in Ayodhya.
Apart from Ayodhya, places like SitaSamahitSthal in Uttar Pradesh, Bhadrachalam in Andhra Pradesh and Rameswaram of Tamil Nadu celebrate this occasion with great vivacity.Ram Navami Celebration in South India
In South India, the Ram Navami festival carries on for nine days subsisting of various elements of ceremony and tradition. Since the day coincides with the wedding of Rama and Sita, the mood on this day is extremely joyous. The programs of kirtans, chantings and recitals lend a greatly inspiring and enlightening tone to the Ram Navami celebration. In Andhra Pradesh, temples portray the marriage of Lord Rama and Sita on the final day of Ram Navami.
In Bhadrachalam of Andhra Pradesh, the followers celebrate this day as the wedding anniversary of Lord Rama and his wife Sita. They call the event as 'SitaramaKalyanam'. Followers in Southern parts of India worship the sacred images of Rama and Sita in their homes. At the end of the day, they arrange a parade for these images on the street. A huge number of devotees get together at temples there and observe the day through reciting the name of Rama.
According to religious sources, Lord Rama was born at noon. Therefore, the main celebration of Ram Navami takes place at noon. Besides the sacred image of Lord Rama, followers also worship the images of Rama's wife Sita, his brother Lakshmana and his disciple as well as an ardent devotee Hanuman. Drinking 'Panagam' which is a drink made of jaggery and pepper is a part of the rituals during this occasion. The people of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu call this festival as 'Vasanthothsava' or the festival of Spring which indicates the end of the nine-day festival.