Rama was the seventh incarnation of Vishnu. He was the hero of the Ramayana, the ancient Sanskrit epic.Ramnavami, or the birthday of Lord Rama, falls on the 9th day of the bright fortnight of the month of Chaitra (March-April).
Lord Rama was born on Navami Tithi during Shukla Paksha of Chaitra month. Each year this day is celebrated as birthday of Lord Rama. Lord Rama was born during Madhyahna period which is middle of Hindu day. Madhyahna which prevails for six Ghatis (approximately 2 hours and 24 minutes) is the most auspicious time to perform Rama Navami Puja rituals. The mid-point of Madhyahna marks the moment when Shri Rama was born and temples symbolize this moment as birth moment of Lord Rama. The chanting of Shri Rama and celebration reaches its peak during this time.Ayodhya is birthplace of Lord Rama and Rama Navami celebrations in Ayodhya are remarkable. Devotees come to Ayodhya from far-flung places. After taking holy dip into river Sarayu Devotees visit Rama temple to participate in birthday celebrations.
Ramnavami is one of the most important festivals of the Hindus, particularly the Vaishnava sect. On this auspicious day, devotees repeat the name of Rama with every breath and vow to lead a righteous life. People pray to attain the final beatitude of life through intense devotion towards Rama, and they invoke his name to grant them blessings and protection.
Many observe a strict fast on this day, but otherwise, it is an extremely colorful ceremony, highly inspiring and instructive, too. Temples are decorated and the image of Lord Rama is richly adorned.
The sacred Mantras “Om Sri Ramaya Namah” or “Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram” are chanted.
Devotees read the whole of the Ramayana, either the Sanskrit version of Sage Valmiki, or the Hindi version of Saint Tulsidas, during these nine days
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.