Vivah Panchami is a sacred Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Ram and Goddess Sita’s marital union in ‘Treta Yug’. It is celebrated every year on the fifth day of the ‘Shukla Paksh’ in the ‘Margashirsha’ month of the Hindu calendar.
As per Gregorian calendar the festival falls on either late November or early December. This festival is celebrated with grandeur all over the country, especially in the northern parts of India and Nepal as Goddess Sita’s parental home is said to be in ‘Mithilanchal’ region there.
According to the Hindu epic Ramayana, King Janak of Mithila (Janakpur) organized a “Swayamver” ceremony where he invited many kings of various kingdoms and Sita the daughter of Janak was supposed to choose a groom for herself among them. However the condition was to lift the Shiva dhanusha and string it ,to be able to marry princess Sita .
Thousands of kings and princes tried but could not even make it move a bit .Then Ram the prince of Ayodhya, lifted this gigantic heavy Shiva dhanush (bow) and string it. Breathless audience clapped and flower came from heaven, and princess Sita was wedded to Lord Ram.
Vivaha Panchami Celebrations:
The celebrations of Vivah Panchami are very notable in Lord Rama temples in different parts of India, particularly in Mithilanchal region and some parts of North India. The day also holds immense significance at Janakpur, in Nepal as it was believed that the ceremony was held here itself. Thousands of pilgrims from Indian and other parts of the world come to witness this grand celebration.
The day of Vivah Panchami is celebrated with great fervour in Ayodhya, the birth place of Shri Ram. On this auspicious day all the temples are brightly lit with lamps.
The celebrations involve the enactment of this divine wedding ceremony. During the day a grand procession leaves from one temple to another and ends with the magnificent wedding ceremony in the evening.
The idols of Lord Rama and Goddess Sati are magnificently adorned with clothes and jewelry to make them look like bridegroom and bride respectively. The entire event is popularly known as ‘Ram Vivah Utsav’. All through the day devotional songs in praise of Lord Rama are sung by devotees.
Besides the festivities at the temples, several stage shows and cultural programmes are also organized on this occasion. Ramleela, a stage performance that depicts the life of Lord Rama and Devi Sita is also observed in many regions. People from different parts of the country come here to participate in the celebrations.
Also read about Maha Sivratri.