Rama Navami ( राम नवमी; Rāma navamī) is a spring Hindu festival which is celebrated as the birthday of God Rama, particularly important in the Vaishnav tradition in Hinduism. God Rama is the seventh avatar of Vishnu.
This festival is a part of spring Navratri, which falls on the ninth day of the bright half (Shukla Paksha) in the Hindu lunar calendar month of Chaitra.
The day is marked by Rama Katha recitals, or reading legendary stories of Rama. Some Vaishnava visits a temple, others pray in their home, and some participate in a Bhajan or Kirtan as a part of Puja and Aarti. Some devotees mark the event by taking small Idols of the infant Rama, washing and clothing it, then placing it in a cradle. Charitable events and community meals are also organized.
The important celebrations take place at Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) Sita Samahit Sthal (Sitamarhi) (Bihar), Janakpurdham (Nepal), Bhadrachalam (Telangana), Kodandarama Temple, and Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu). Rathayatras, the chariot processions, known as Shobha yatras of Rama, Sita, his brother Lakshmana with Hanuman, are taken out at several places. In Ayodhya, many take a dip in the sacred river Sarayu and then visit the Rama temple.
The day is the ninth and last day of Chaitra Navaratri. It celebrates the arrival of Vishnu’s 7th avatar, god Rama. It is marked by the faithful with puja (devotional worship) such as bhajan and kirtan, by fasting and reading passages about Rama’s life. Special cities in the Ramayana legends about Rama’s life observe major celebrations.
In eastern Indian states such as Odisha, Jharkhand and West Bengal, the Jagannath temples and regional Vaishnava community observe Rama Navami, and treat it as the day when preparations begin for their annual Jagannath Ratha Yatra in summer.
Rama Navami is one of the Hindu festivals which are celebrated by the Hindu Diaspora with roots in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and south India. The descendants of Indian indentured servants, for example, who arrived in regal South Africa before 1910 to work in British owned plantations and mines, thereafter lived through the South African Apartheid government, continued to celebrate Ram Navami by reciting Ramcharitmanas, and by singing Bhajans of Tyagaraja and Bhadrachala Ramdas. This tradition still continues in the Hindu temples of Durban also.
Similarly in Trinidad, Hindu descendants of regally era indentured workers brought by the British government from India have continued to observe Ram Navami along with their other traditional festivals.
This festival is also celebrated by Hindus in Fiji, and also those Fiji Hindus who have re-migrated elsewhere.
Ram Navami 2017 Date: 5th April 2017