Rama Navami (Hindi: राम नवमी) is a Hindu spring festival that celebrates the birthday of Shree Rama, the seventh avatar of the god Vishnu

Rama is particularly important in the Vaishnavite tradition of Hinduism

The festival celebrates the descent of Vishnu as the Rama avatar, through his birth to King Dasharatha and Queen Kausalya in Ayodhya

The festival is a part of the spring (Vasanta) Navratri, and falls on the ninth day of the bright half (Shukla Paksha) of Chaitra, the first month in the Hindu calendar

This typically occurs in the Gregorian months of March or April every year

Rama Navami is an optional government holiday in India

The day is marked by Rama Katha recitals or reading of Rama stories, including the Hindu sacred epic Ramayana

Some Vaishnavite Hindus visit a temple while others pray within their homes, and some participate in a bhajan or kirtan with music as a part of puja and aarti

Some devotees mark the event by taking miniature statues of the infant Ram, washing and clothing them, then placing them in cradles

Charitable events and community meals are also organized

The festival is an occasion for moral reflection for many Hindus

Some mark this day by vrata (fasting)

The important celebrations on this day take place at Ayodhya and Sita Samahit Sthal (Uttar Pradesh), Sitamarhi (Bihar), Janakpurdham (Nepal), Bhadrachalam (Telangana), Kodandarama Temple, Vontimitta (Andhra Pradesh), Ramanathaswamy temple, Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu), Vaduvur Sri Kothandaramaswamy Temple (Tamilnadu), Sri Rama Pada Temple, Dhanushkodi, Rameshwaram (Tamilnadu), Eri Katha Ramar temple, Maduranthakam(Tamil Nadu), Eri-Katha Ramar Temple, Thirunindravur (Tamilnadu), Sri Kodanda-Ramar Temple,Thirupullani (Tamilnadu), Sri Kodandaramar Temple, T-Nagar, Chennai (Tamilnadu), Sri Parathasarathy Temple (Sri Ramar Sannidhi), Thiruvallikeni, Chennai, Jharkhand (hazaribag, chatra, Ranchi, lamta shiv Mandir), (Tamil Nadu)

Rathayatras, the chariot processions, also known as Shobha yatras of Rama, Sita, his brother Lakshmana and Hanuman, are taken out at several places

In Ayodhya, many take a dip in the sacred river Sarayu and then visit the Rama temple