Ramayana Week – Nine days of Fasting Ramnavami

Ramayana Week begins nine days before Ramanavmi or Ram Navami, the birthday of Lord Rama. In North India, the Ramayan week coincides with the Chaitra Navratri. In South India, it is known as the Ramnavami festival and is also celebrated for nine days. In 2015, Ramayana week is from March 21 to March 28, 2015.

Fasting during this period is considered highly auspicious. Staunch Lord Ram devotees fast for nine days. There are also several devotees who only fast only on the Ramanavami day. Those people who undertake fast during this period usually remain on a fruit and milk diet for the entire period.

Many devotees read the entire Ramayana during these nine days. During this period several temples and Hindu spiritual associations organize Akhand Path – non-stop recital – of the great epic Ramayana – the Shri Ramacharitamanas by Goswami Tulsidas.

Another important event during this period is the staging of Ram Lila – stage artists narrate the thrilling and exciting episodes from the epic Ramayana.

Like the Ramayana Week, there is a Ramayana Masam. It is observed in Kerala during the Malayalam month Karkidakam (July – August). There is no fasting but people read the Ramayana in the morning and evening in the Karkidakam month. Special Ayurvedic preparations are taken by people during this period.