Ram Navami commemorates the birth of Lord Ram to King Dasharath and Queen Kaushalya in Ayodhya during the Treta Yuga. It is a celebration which welcomes spring and is observed on the ninth day of Chaitra month, the first month in the Hindu lunar calendar. This also marks the end of Vasanta Navratri and is celebrated in the months of March and April according to the Gregorian every year.
Lord Ram and his three brothers, Lakshman, Bharat, and Shatrughan, are said to have landed on Earth after nine days of Chaitra Navratri, during which the nine manifestations of Goddess Durga are worshipped. On this day, people visit temples devoted to Lord Ram, also known as ‘Maryada Purushottam,’ and pray to him to show them the proper way of life and behaviour. It is essentially a festival that celebrates good over evil since Ram killed the demon king Ravan.
Ram Navami is considered to be one of the five most important Hindu festivals since Lord Rama is considered the Hindu Lord Vishnu’s seventh incarnation. On this auspicious day, followers of Lord Rama and Lord Vishnu rejoice by performing the Rama Katha and chanting poems from the Holy Hindu Scriptures such as Shrimad Bhagavatam and Ramayana.
On the festival of Ram Navami, devotees observe a day-long fast. The fast usually starts before or at sunrise and lasts until the next day’s sunrise. Rama Katha and sacred Hindu scriptures such as Shrimad Bhagavatam and Ramayana are performed. Bhajans and Kirtan are performed at temples and devotees’ homes, followed by sacred ceremonies. Some followers commemorate the day by bathing and dressing small sculptures of Lord Rama and placing them in cradles, followed by Aartis and offerings, and the formal wedding of Lord Rama and Goddess Sita.
It is widely held among devotees that by celebrating and saying prayers on Ram Navami, one receives heavenly power into their lives as well as eliminates ill effects or negative energy from the planet. People celebrate Rama Navami in a variety of ways; some devotees prefer to visit temples, while others prefer to pray from the comfort of their own homes. Religious offerings such as sweets and fruits are given in temples, and elaborate Pujas are performed in the names of Lord Rama and Lord Vishnu. The main intention of this festival is to celebrate and show devotion to Lord Rama and to welcome positive energy into their lives.
Ram Navami marks the triumph of good over evil and the assertion that Dharma triumphs over Adharma. The day is generally begun by presenting Jal (water) to the Hindu God Suraj Devta (The Sun) at daybreak, who is commonly regarded as an ancestor of Lord Rama in Hindu Mythology. Ram Navami’s importance is to create positive energy in life and to reduce bad vibrations from the earth.
During this holy season, people visit religious sites linked with Lord Ram. Thousands of devotees go from all across the country to visit places like Ayodhya, Ujjain, and Rameshwaram. Thousands of people at Rameshwaram take a traditional dip in the river before offering their worship at the Ramanathaswamy temple. Many towns in North India have fairs in celebration of the event, which culminates in magnificent fireworks on Rama Navami.