When is Ram Navami?
Ram Navami is a Hindu festival, celebrating the birth of Lord Rama to King Dasharatha of Ayodhya.
In 2016, Ram Navami is a public holiday in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh. The Indian stock exchanges will be closed on this day.
The holiday is celebrated on the ninth day of Chaitra month (the first month in the Hindu lunar calendar). It marks the culmination of the spring festival of Vasanta Navratri (Chaitra Navratri) which begins on Ugadi.
Rama was the seventh incarnation of Vishnu. He was the hero of the Ramayana, the ancient Sanskrit epic.
A continuous recital of the book takes place during the month of Chaitra prior to the celebration. On Ram Navami itself, the highlights of the story are read in the temple.
Houses are thoroughly cleaned on Rama Navami and a family shrine may be decorated with small statues of Rama. Offerings of flowers and fruit are placed on the shrine and prayers are recited after an early bath.
To mark the day, followers of Hinduism may fast or restrict themselves to a specific diet and won't eat certain foods like onions, garlic, and wheat products.
The celebrations at key places associated with Sri Rama, such as Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh and Ramesvaram in Tamil Nadu can attract thousands of devotees.