Rama Navami

Rama Navami (Ram Navami, Ramanavami, Sri Rama Navami) is a Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Rama on the ninth day of the Hindu month of Caitra, which usually falls in March or April. Rama is the first son of King Dasaratha and Queen Kausalya of Ayodhya and is believed to be the seventh incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu.

Rama Navami celebrates the birth of Rama, the hero of the great religious epic poem, the Ramayana.

©iStockphoto.com/Luciano Mortula

What Do People Do?

Many Hindus celebrate Rama’s birthday by going to temples that are decorated for the festival and reciting stories from the religious epic poem, the Ramayana. They give offerings of flowers and fruit to the god and many will repeat Rama’s name to the enshrined image of Rama in hopes that they will free themselves from the cycle of birth and death. In some parts of India, Rama Navami is a nine day festival that coincides with Vasanta Navaratri.

Some Hindus fast or restrict themselves to a special diet during the day followed by a big feast in the evening or at the end of the celebrations of Rama Navami. Public gatherings called satsangs are organized to commemorate the birth of Rama. Some of the celebrations include a ceremonial wedding performed by temple priests, a procession of murtis in the evening that involves playing with water and colors, and panakam, which is a sweet drink made with jaggery and pepper.

Public Life

Rama Navami is a gazetted holiday in India so government offices, post offices and banks are closed. Stores and other businesses and organizations may be closed or have reduced opening hours. It is not a nationwide public holiday in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States but some cities may hold large celebrations for the Rama Navami festival.


Rama is one of the popular figures and deities in Hinduism. According to Hindu belief, Rama is the seventh incarnation of the god Vishnu.  He is the hero of the great religious epic poem, the Ramayana. Rama Navami brings together the people of different castes of life because it was declared that all will celebrate this festival thus relieving the social tension that existed. Many Hindus look at Rama and his wife Sita as the ideal man and women.


Rama is dark-complexioned, mainly bluish – a symbol of divinity. The Ramayan is an ancient Sanskrit epic that depicts the journey of Rama to save his wife Sita who was abducted by the demon king of Lanka, Ravana. It contains the teachings of ancient Hindu sages and explores the tenets of human existence and concept of dharma.