‘Ram Navami (Devanāgarī: राम नवमी) also known as Sri Rama Navami (IAST SriRām-navamī) is a Hindu festival, celebrating the birth of Lord Rama to King Dasharatha and Queen Kausalya of Ayodhya.
Ram is the 7th incarnation of the Dashavatara of Vishnu. The Rama Navami festival falls in the Shukla Paksha on the Navami, the ninth day of the month of Chaitra in the Hindu calendar. Thus it is also known as Chaitra Masa Suklapaksha Navami, and marks the end of the nine-day Chaitra-Navratri celebrations. Rama navami is one of the most important festivals of the Hindus, particularly the Vaishnava sect of the Hindus.
At some places the festival lasts the whole nine days of the Navratras, thus the period is called ‘Sri Rama Navratra’. It is marked by continuous recitals, Akhand Paath, mostly of the Ramacharitamanas, organized several days in advance to culminate on this day, with elaborate bhajan, kirtan and distribution of prasad after the puja and aarti. Images of infant form of Sri Rama are placed on cradles and rocked by devotees.
In South India, in Bhadrachalam, the day is also celebrated as the wedding anniversary of Sri Rama and his consort Sita. Sitarama Kalyanam, the ceremonial wedding ceremony of the Divine couple is held at temples throughout the south region, with great fanfare and accompanied by group chanting of name of Rama (Rama nama smaranam).
The important celebrations on this day take place at Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh) Sita Samahit Sthal (Sitamarhi, Bihar), Bhadrachalam (Andhra Pradesh) and Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu), thronged by thousands of devotees. Rathayatras, the chariot processions, also known as Shobha yatras of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman, are taken out at several places including Ayodhya where thousands of people take a dip in the sacred river Sarayu.