India is busy celebrating Chaitra Navratri 2019 and will finally bid good bye to the much-sought after Hindu spring festival with the observance of Ram Navami. The festival marks the birth anniversary of Lord Rama, who is known to be the seventh avatar of Shri Vishnu. Lord Rama was born in the kingdom of Ayodhya to Queen Kausalya and King Dasharatha in ‘Treta Yuga’, the second age of mankind in the religion of Hinduism. Lord Rama, who is the central character of the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana, is also mentioned in texts of Jain and Buddhist scriptures. Every year, Ram Navami is being celebrated on the ninth day of the Shukhla Paksha (bright half) in the Hindu calendar month of Chaitra (typically in the month of March or April). This year it falls on Saturday, April 13.
Rama Navami timings:
According to drikpanchang.com, Rama Navami Puja Muhurata is from 11:13 am to 1:43 pm. The duration of the Puja Muhurta will be 2 hours and 30 minutes.Rama Navami Madhyahna moment will be 12:28 pm. Navami Tithi begins – 11:41 am on April 13; Navami Tithi ends – 09:35 am on April 14
Ram Navami celebration:
During this nine-day festival, a large number of devotees across the country worship different incarnations of Goddess Durga, observe a fast and seek blessings from Shri Rama. People also visit temples, where miniature idols of Lord Rama are bathed and clothed. The ceremony is also accompanied by worshiping Lord Lakshman, Lord Hanuman and Goddess Sita, owing to their relation with Shri Rama in Ramayana.
Like all other Hindu festivals, another essential part of Navratri celebration is eating specific dishes and food items. Devotees prepare several sweet dishes with utmost devotion and offer to Shri Rama as prasadam or naivedyam seeking victory of goodness over evil. Panakam, Coonut ladoos, Makhana kheer, Dates Halwa and Puri are some of the traditional dishes, that people cook during Ram Navami to offer to the deity and nine little girls, who are considered to be the nine avatars of Goddess Durga.
While each and everyday of Navratri has nine different colours and significance, the colour of the last day is green, which symbolises prosperity. On the 9th and final day, people also worship Goddess Siddhidatri, who is considered to be the possessor of 26 different wishes. The day also marks the beginning of Hindu New Year Vikram Samvat, calling for new beginnings and positive changes in the life of individuals.