Ram Navami is the celebration of the birthday of Lord Sri Ram, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Born into the royal household of King Dasharatha and Queen Kaushalya, Sri Ram was the darling of the masses and enjoyed an exalted status in the kingdom. The birthday of Lord Sri Ram is celebrated as Ram Navami and observed in a big way by Hindus all over the world. The festival is celebrated on the ninth day of the Chaitra month (March-April), during the Shukla Paksha or waxing phase of the moon. Temples and religious centers become a beehive of activity on this day as devotees from all overcome with faith and dedication in their hearts to offer worship to the divine deity.
Lord Vishnu fulfilled the twin desires of his devotees by granting them a righteous heir to the throne of Ayodhya and vanquishing Ravana, the demon king of Lanka. People revere him as the messiah of the masses, and the entire country celebrates his birthday with great enthusiasm and fervor. A magnificent Rathyatra (chariot procession) is taken out in Ayodhya, the birthplace of Sri Ram, on this day, with thousands of devotees taking part in the proceedings.
Fasting is one of the essential rituals observed on Ram Navami, and people spend the day by performing Poojas and listening to bhajans, glorifying the deeds of Lord Sri Ram. Devotees nurture the belief that fasting on this day delivers them from sins and helps in ultimately merging with the divine. Some devotees observe a ‘Nirahar’ fast (without food) or a ‘Nirjal’ fast (without water), and some even follow both. Many subsist on just one Satvik meal of potato, fruits, dairy items and rock salt.
Here is a list of some of the traditional dishes prepared on Ram Navami.
Food Recipes for Ram Navami
Sabudane Ki Kheer
It is a favorite Indian pudding made with tapioca pearls (sago) and milk, which is usually consumed on festival days. The key to making this dish is to cook the meal well so that the sago and milk blend well, to go down smoothly.
Aalu Ki Subzi (Potato Curry)
It is an ideal dish to break the Rama Navami fast. The potatoes are cut into little pieces and prepared in a gravy without onion or garlic. It is usually less spiced, so it does not irritate the palate.
Singhare ki Poori
The pooris are made of water, chestnut flour, and potatoes. The flour is rolled, flattened with a rolling pin and deep-fried in oil. It makes for a great accompaniment with the Aloo ki Subzi.
Sama Rice Khichdi
It is a simple and easy to make the dish prepared with sama de chawal (barnyard millet). Everyone can relish a healthy and wholesome meal during any festival or fasting period.
It is a favorite dish made during fasting days. Made of sago, this is a delicious and healthy dish that goes down well and is easy to digest.
All the dishes mentioned above are light, easy on the palate, and ideal for breaking the festival fast. Apart from these, many more meals can be prepared with ease and relished by all the family members. After all, festivals are joyous occasions that bring warmth and cheer into the household.