Sri Rama Navami falls on the ninth day of Hindu lunar year (or Chaitra Masa ).
THIS YEAR TUESDAY 08-04-14 Navami means the ninth day in the hindu calender. This day is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Rama. People normally perform Kalyanotsavam (marriage celebration) for small idols of Lord Rama and Sita(Wife of Lord Rama) in their houses, and at the end of the day the deities are taken to a procession on the streets. This day also marks the end of the nine-day utsavam (festival) called Vasanthothsavam (festival of Spring), that starts with Ugadi(telugu and kannada new year). According to astologers by placing the stars and the epics together it has been said that Sri Rama was born on Feb 10, 5010 BC.
Temples are decorated and the image of Lord Rama is richly adorned. The holy Ramayana is read in the temples. At Ayodhya, the birthplace of Sri Rama, a big fair is held on this day. In South India the Sri Rama navami Utsavam (Festival) is celebrated for nine days with great fervor and devotion. For the occasion, Hindus are supposed to fast (or restrict themselves to a specific diet).
The following are the traditional recipes prepared during Sri Rama Navami.
Panakam in Sanskrit means sweet drink. It is a main neivedyam at all the temples and houses on this day in India. Ingredients
2-3 cups of water (depends on the no. Of serving)
½ tsp ginger powder or 1tbsp grated fresh ginger
2-3 tbsp grated jaggery (depends on how sweet you want it to be)
½ tsp crushed peppercorns
1 crushed cardamom
Dissolve the grated jaggery in water and add fresh chopped ginger or dry ginger powder to it. I prefer fresh ginger to the dry powder as it gives more fresh taste and zing to the drink. The dry ginger loses some properties of fresh ones. Boil the mixture and filter it. Add crushed cardamom and peppercorns to it. Now its ready for Neivedyam.
Jaggery or Gur, is pure, Unrefined whole sugar, containing the natural goodness of minerals and vitamins inherently present in sugarcane juice.
Ginger and its extracts aid digestion, help relieve stomachaches, flatulence, and promote circulation.
Powdered ginger is very effective in treating motion sickness. It’s especially given to kids for proper digestion. Fresh mashed ginger root, when applied to burns, eases the pain.
The combination of Pepper, ginger along with honey or cane sugar relieves sore throat, cough and cold.