Ram Navami

Ram Navami [राम नवमी] is a spring Hindu festival that celebrates the birthday of god Ram. He is particularly important to the Hindu tradition of Hinduism, as the seventh avatar of Vishnu. The festival is a part of the spring Navratri, and falls on the ninth day of the bright half (Shukla Paksha) in the Hindu calendar month of Chaitra. This typically occurs in the Gregorian months of March or April every year. Ram Navami is a government holiday in Nepal. It is celebrated mostly fondly by Nepali people, visiting nearby temple of Lord Ram with flowers and other offerings. For Hindus, Lord Ram symbolizes "the ideal man". His victory Ravan is seen as the manifestation of good over evil even in the most dire situations.

The day is marked by Ram Katha recitals, or reading of Ram stories. Ramayana and Mahabharat are considered Itihasa by Hindu traditions. Hindus visit a temple, others pray within their home, and some participate in a bhajan or kirtan with music as a part of puja and aarti. Some devotees mark the event by taking miniature statues of the infant Ram, washing it and clothing it, then placing it in a cradle. Charitable events and community meals are also organized. The festival is an occasion for moral reflection for many Hindus. Some mark this day by Vrata (fasting).

Ram or Vishnu temples all over the Nepal are thronged with devotees on this day. The Ram Janaki Temple (Janakpurdham) in Janakpur, Ram Mandir in Battisputali, Changu Narayan in Bhaktapur, and Budhanilkantha Temple, Changu Narayan and Bichangu Narayan in Kathmandu outskirts are filled with devotees on this day. The festival celebrates the descent of god Vishnu as Ram avatar, through his birth to King Dasharatha and Queen Kausalya in Ayodhya.

The day is the ninth and last day of Chaitra Navaratri (not to be confused with the autumn Navratri). It celebrates the arrival of Vishnu's 7th avatar, god Ram. It is marked by the faithfuls with puja (devotional worship) such as bhajan and kirtan, by fasting and reading passages about Ram's life. Special cities in the Ramayana legends about Ram's life observe major celebrations. while some celebrate it as the wedding anniversary festival (Kalyanotsavam) of Ram and Sita.

While the festival is named after Ram, the festival typically includes reverence for Sita, Lakshmana and Hanumana given their importance in Ram's story. Some Vaishnava Hindus observe the festival in Hindu temples, some observe it within their homes. Surya, the Hindu sun god, is a part of the worship and ceremonies in some communities.

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