Ram Navami is one of the most significant festivals celebrated across the country with immense faith. It is celebrated on the ninth day of Chaitra month as per the Hindu calendar. On this day, Lord Rama who is also known as Maryada Purshottam was born as the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He was born in Ayodhya to the King Dasrath and Kaushalya in Treta Yuga. To celebrate this day, thousands of devotees visit the places associated with Shree Rama’s birth, such as Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh and Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu, recite holy texts from Ramayana, and take part in bhajans and kirtans as well. This year, Ram Navami will be celebrated on April 21, 2021.
While the celebrations are vibrant throughout the country, Karnataka is one of the states celebrating Ram Navami with great enthusiasm. Devotees from different regions celebrate this auspicious festival by following a set of rituals. Some of them fast for nine days, beginning from the first day of Chaitra month, celebrated as Ugadi, and ending on Ram Navami. In Karnataka, Ram Navami’s celebration begins with a ceremonial marriage of Shree Rama with Goddess Sita known as Kalyanam. The priests of the Temples perform this ceremony with the idols of the God and Goddess. Later in the evening, a grand procession is held with the idols, surrounded by hundreds of devotees singing and dancing.
Sweet delicacies are an essential part of every festival, thus a special prasad is served on Ram Navami as well. A sweet drink made up of jaggery known as Panaka and thin spiced buttermilk and kosambari (dal salad) is served as prasad. Some people perform these rituals at their homes or by putting up a temporary tent on the roadside and distribute the prasad to all those passing by the tents.
The festival of Ram Navami brings joy and prosperity to everyone’s lives. People from different regions gather in large numbers in the Temples to celebrate this auspicious festival together. However, due to the Covid-19 restrictions this year, safety precautions and social distancing norms are being followed for everyone’s safety.