Rama Navami is a spring Hindu festival that celebrates the birthday of the Hindu God Lord Rama. He is particularly important to the Vaishnavism tradition of Hinduism, as the seventh avatar of God Vishnu. The festival celebrates the descent of Vishnu as shri Rama avatar, through his birth to King Dasharatha and Queen Kausalya in Ayodhya. The festival is a part of the spring Navratri, and falls on the ninth day of the bright half (Shukla Paksha) in the Hindu calendar month of Chaitra. 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 Vaishnava Hindus visit a temple, others pray within their home, 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 Rama, washing it and clothing it, then placing it in a cradle. 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).