Rama Navami
(Rama Navami Celebration)

Rama Navami is a Hindu Festival that is celebrated in the lunar calendar month of Chaitra, which falls in April. Rama Navami is the celebration of the birth of Lord Rama. In Hindu legend, the king of Ayodhya, Dasarath, had three wives. Being afraid that he would not leave a male heir, a priest was asked to pray that Dasarath would give birth to at least one son. All three wives conceived at the same time, all boys, and the third wife had twins. The first son born to Dasarath was Lord Rama, who is the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu and who is revered for his courage, compassion, and religious devotion.

The Rama Navami festival lasts about nine days. During the festival, Hindus travel to temples and sing kirtans and bhajans, elaborate songs that tell stories of the Gods. There is also usually pujas and aartis, prayers that praise Lord Rama. After the prayers are complete, Prasad is served as a way to show respect and love to Lord Rama. In the morning, Hindus will attend temple to prepare, making food and setting up decorations. Because it is believed that Lord Rama was born at noon, there are special prayers at that time. Some Hindus choose to fast during the day, and many give offerings to Lord Rama statues throughout the day, including flowers, fruits and sweets. Many Hindus decide to get married during this time, as it is regarded as very auspicious.

Profile prepared by Josh Jolly
May, 2009