Even as India celebrates Ram Navami with much fervour and enthusiasm, we list out five things you must know about the festival.
The festival marks the birth of Lord Vishnu's avatar as Ram in Tretayug, according to Hindu mythology. Ram Navami falls on the ninth day of Chaitra month as per the Hindu lunar calendar. Ram Navami also marks the end of nine-day Chaitra-Navratri celebrations.
In most places in India observing Ram Navami, the celebrations begin on Gudi Padwa, which falls on the first day of the Chaitra month, and ends on the ninth day.
In South India, the day is also considered as the marriage day of Rama and Sita, and temple priests perform a wedding ceremony called Kalyanotsavam. Bhadrachalam in Andhra Pradesh celebrates Ram Sita Kalyanam.
Devotees visit Ayodhya, the birthplace of Rama, and Rameshwaram to seek blessings. They also chant the "Taraka Mantra" - the name of Rama on Ram Navami. Legend has it that Ram's name alone is enough to please the god.
A Rath Yatra or a chariot procession is organised on Ram Navami. The most famous Rath Yatra is arranged in Ayodhya, the birth place of Ram. The Ram Rath Yatra carries idols of Rama-Sita, Laxman and Hanuman.
Ram Navami ke shubh avsar par aap sabhi ko meri aur se Shubh Kamanayein— Hema Malini (@dreamgirlhema) April 8, 2014
Jai Shri Ram.May lord Ram...shower his choicest blessing on u... Happy Ram Navami!!!!!— Madhur Bhandarkar (@mbhandarkar268) April 8, 2014
Friends wish you a Happy Ram Navami pic.twitter.com/NLfhWipTgd— Rahul Mahajan (@TheRahulMahajan) April 8, 2014