Hands Raised to the Summer Sun in Ram Navami
When it happens: April 20 2013,Saturday
Where it happens: India
Ram Navami is based from the epic Ramayana. According to legends, the emperor of Ayodha had three loving wives. Their greatest concern is that they had no children to heir the throne. So, Rishi Vasistha suggested them to perform a ritual. He also asked the emperor to invite Maharshi Rishyasringa to perform the ritual with him. As a result, the Yagneshwara appeared before them and told the emperor to bring the pudding to his wives. So, the emperor went back and gave them the pudding. After a few days, the three queens conceived and on the ninth day, the elder wife gave birth to Rama. Rama is known as the incarnation of the God Vishnu, protector of all his devotees. Rama decided to incarnate in order to destroy Ravana, a person with evil designs.
About the Festival:
Celebrated on the ninth day of the Chaitra month, the Ram Navami 2013 commemorates the birthday of the Lord Rama. The nine days of the festival is spent with fasting and prayers and is marked by public gatherings and rituals. It is considered as an important festival of the worshippers of Lord Rama. The dynasty of Rama considered themselves as descendants of the Sun. Thus, the celebration begins early in the morning with prayers to the Sun. In the afternoon, a special prayer is performed at the temples.
It is also considered lucky to fast during the festival. The fast is observed in order to seek perfection and as an exercise to build up self discipline and will power. A number of temples perform prayers. You can attend the reading of the Ramayana and listen to the fascinating story. The festival is celebrated all over India. However, the Pondicherry and Ayodha are two of the cities well known for their celebrations of the Ram Navami, being mentioned in the Ramayana.
If you ever visit Ayodha, you can see decorated chariots that are carried through the town during processions. The main attraction of the processions is the chariots that carry four people dressed as Rama, his wife, his brother, and his disciple. The chariot is then followed by the people dressed as the soldiers of Rama. After that, you can spend your days in merriment and elaboration.
Travel Tips: If you happen to be present at the Ram Navami , take a ritual bath at the Rameshwaram Sea before paying visit to the temple. You should also avoid tap water or eating food that may be washed in it. Do not eat salads or do not put ice on your drinks unless you made them yourself. Also, do not eat fruits you did not peel yourself.
Final Thoughts: The Ram Navami 2013 is a great time to have some peace and quiet. It teaches you to have a balanced time between relaxation and entertainment during the rituals and processions. You will surely not regret visiting the country during the festival.