Indian Festivals

Rama Navami

Rama Navami is a Hindu holiday. It falls on the ninth day of the Hindu lunar year (or Chaitra Masa Suklapaksha Navami). and is a celebration of the birthday of the Hindu god Rama. People normally perform Kalyanotsavam (marriage celebration) for small murtis of Rama and Sita in their houses, and at the end of the day the deity is taken to a procession on the streets. This day also marks the end of the nine-day utsavam called Chaitra Navaratri (Maharashtra) or Vasanthothsavam (Andhra Pradesh) (festival of Spring), which starts with Gudi Padwa (Maharashtra) or Ugadi (South India). According to recent astrological studies, his year of birth is consider to be January 10, 5114 B.C

Significance

Though Rama Navami is a major festival for Vaishnavites, it is widely celebrated by worshippers of Shiva, too. t is considered auspicious to undertake a fast on the day in the name of Rama. The more devout fast for nine days, from Ugadi to Rama Navami. The objective of the fast is not to ask for special favours of the deity but to seek perfection as a human being.
Devotees perform elaborate pujas and chant the name of Rama. Temples of Rama have special services and bhajan sessions through the day. One significant and popular element of the celebration is the Ramayana parayana, a discourse on the Ramayana, by a pundit or a professional story-teller. It usually lasts nine days, beginning on Ugadi and ending on Rama Navami. A skilled story-teller who can liven up the event by weaving in contemporary events attracts massive crowds. Since Rama is also one of the most sung-about deities in Indian classical music and literature, week-long (and sometimes, month-long) musical programmes are organised. Sacred places associated with Rama, like Ayodhya, Ujjain and Rameshwaram, draw tens of thousands of devotees. In Rameshwaram, thousands take a ritual bath in the sea before worshipping at the Ramanathaswamy temple.
Many places in North India host fairs in connection with the festival, culminating in spectacular fireworks on Rama Navami.

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