Rama Navami Festival:
Rama Navami is a Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Lord Rama in North India and his wedding ceremony in South India. He was 7th incarnation of lord Vishnu. Rama Navami is celebrating on Navami of Shukla-Paksha in Chaitra month of Hindu calendar. On this day the nine-day celebration of Chaitra Navaratri also ends.
Celebration in Northern India:
As the day is believed to be the birthday of Rama he is worshiped in his child image. Images of Infant Rama are kept in cradles and worshiped by devotees. As Rama is considered to have born in the noon, from the early morning temples and houses are decorated for the celebration of Lord Rama’s birth in the noon. Many devotees keep fasting the whole day for Lord Rama.
Celebrations in Southern India:
In South India, in Bhadrachalam the day is believed to be as wedding anniversary of Rama and his wife Sita. On this day all the temples are decorated and the wedding ceremony of god Rama and his wife Sita is performed. Ramadasu Jayanthi Sitaram Kalyanam and Rama Nama Smaranam are chanted by all the devotees. Although in Northern India Rama Navami is celebrated on Vivaha Panchami according to Valmiki Ramayana.
Centers of Celebration:
The day of Rama Navami is important for all Hindus, but the greatest celebration of this day is performed in Ayodhya, which is believed to be the birth town of god Rama. In Ayodhya, it is celebrated as Birthday of Rama and thousands of people joins the celebration. Rathyatra is a common trend on this day. Dip in Saryu river is also believed to be the very sacred one. The day is also celebrated in a grand manner in Bhadrachalam where it is celebrated as wedding day of Lord Rama and Rameshwaram where Lord Rama stayed while the bridge to Sri Lanka was constructed by his army.
Puja of Rama Navami:
On the day of Rama Navami, special offerings are performed to the god Rama in temples as well as in houses. Devotees fasts the whole day and end it either in the evening or with the end of the celebration. In North India infant images of lord Rama is worshiped and he is treated as a newborn child as well as in Southern India his wedding ceremony is performed with great enthusiasm. Kalyanam Puja ceremony of Bhadrachalam and the celebration of Ayodhya are the most prominent one where thousands of devotees reach on this day.