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Sri Rama Navami Celebrations

Courtesy: Google Images
Sri Rama Navami is an important Hindu festival celebrated across the country. It is celebrated on Chaitra Suddha Navami day i.e. the ninth day after Amavasya (No Moon Day) in the Hindu month of Chaitra. It is on the 8th day after Ugaadi - the Telugu / Kannada New Year's day.

This is an important festival for Vaishnavites i.e the followers of Lord Vishnu and is celebrated by all with equal devotion. It is a govt holiday in India and almost all the govt offices and nationalized banks remain closed.
Courtesy: Google Images
The mythological significance and importance of the festival is well known to all as this day is considered as the birth day of Lord Rama - an incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the human form. Coincidentally, on the same day Lord Rama got married to Seeta Devi - the daughter of King Janaka of Mithilapuri (presently located in Nepal) which was the capital of Videha Kingdom. Being the epitome of human perfection, Lord Rama is considered as purushottama.

On Sri Rama Navami day, Sri Seeta Rama Kalyanam is performed in most of the Rama temples in the South. This festival is celebrated with great devotion particularly in the famous Sri Seeta Ramachandra Swamy Temple at Bhadrachalam and it is aired live on the important TV channels like DD Saptagiri, ETV etc.

How do Telugu people celebrate the festival at home

There is no particular Vidham for celebrating Sri Rama Navami at home. However the Telugu people perform the regular pooja and recite special stotrams / slokas on Lord Rama. Some are engaged in Sri Ramayana pathanam (reading the Holy book of Ramayana). After the completion of pooja, vadapappu and panakam is specially offered to Lord Rama on this special day.

Vadapappu is a special offering which is simple to prepare. Pesarapappu i.e moong dal / skinless split green gram is soaked in water till it gets softer. The water is drained off and chopped green chillies and salt is added to it which is offered as naivedyam. Others prefer to prepare sweet vadapappu by adding sugar instead of green chillies.
Courtesy: Google Images
Panankam popularly known as Rama Rasam is prepared specially on Sri Rama Navami day by the Telugu people. Raama Rasam is simple to prepare and is good for health as it is a natural coolant. It helps in keeping the body cool in summer. It is one of the effective ways of beating the heat. You just need to take enough of drinking water and add sufficient grated jaggery / gur / bellam and dissolve it in the water. Add crushed black pepper / miriyaalu / gol mirch and cardamom powder (elaichi powder) and stir it well. That's it. Raama Raasam can be offered as naivedyam to Lord Rama along with vadapappu.

This special drink is offered in most of the Rama temples in Andhra Pradesh and devotees are involved in Sri Raama naama sankeetana, sing bhajans / keertanas like Pibare Ramarasam and spend the day in a religious way.

Date of Sri Rama Navami this year: April 13th, 2019 (Saturday).

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