Vivah Panchami 2023
Vivah Panchami (Vivah means marriage, and Panchami means the fifth day) is a Hindu festival that celebrates the wedding of Lord Ram and Goddess Sita. According to the Hindu calendar, this day falls on the Panchami Tithi (fifth day) of Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of the Moon) in Margashira (Agrahayana).
In 2023 Vivah Panchami will be celebrated on Sunday, 17th December. This festival usually takes place on the Gregorian calendar in late November or early December.
This celebration is also popularly referred to as ‘Ram Vivah Utsav.’ Married women celebrate Vivah Panchami for marital bliss while unmarried women celebrate it to get good husbands. This festival is celebrated mainly in Northern India, Mithilanchal, and parts of Nepal.
Almost all the regions of India observe the festival of Vivah Panchami at various temples of Ram and Sita. But, the most pious and grand celebrations of Vivah Panchami is held in Ayodhya (the birthplace of Lord Ram) and Janakpur (located in Nepal, the birthplace of Goddess Sita).
Vivah Panchami Story
As per the legends, King Janak wanted his daughter to marry the one was who is truly blessed. King Janak, Sita’s father, proposed a test of strength for the suitors of his daughter: to string the great bow of Lord Shiva. Warriors, kins, and chieftains came from afar, but no man could even lift the bow. There were so many other Kings there that had participated in the event. And the condition to marry Sita was that one had to break the bow of Lord Shiva which was so heavy, that all presented Kings there, and no one could lift it except King Rama who broke it also. By breaking it he proved his prowess and got married to Sita.
According to Ramayana, during this grand marriage ceremony other the brothers of Lord Ram like Lakshman, Bharat, and Shatrughan were also married to Sita’s cousins called Urmila, Mandavi, and Shuddhakirti respectively. On this day when Rama got married, is called Vivah Panchami.
Suggested Read: Sita Navami
Vivah Panchami Rituals
People have celebrated Vivah Panchami with tremendous dedication to immortalizing Lord Ram and Devi Sita’s wedding ceremony. On this day, devotees fast for one day and receive the blessings of Lord Rama and Mother Sita for a happy and healthy marriage. On this day, the numerous ancient temples are adorned with flowers and light. A marvelous wedding procession takes place. It passes by the countless ancient temples during the day. The wedding ceremony is concluded with the idols that symbolize Ram and Sita.
Ramleela, a dramatic folk enactment of Lord Ram’s life is also performed at various places. Ramleela is a play depicting the marriage ceremony between Lord Ram and Sita. Millions of Hindus witness this momentous event from all over India and the world. The devotees sing devotional songs and chants from the Ramayana epic. Elaborate rites are conducted in the temples with the statues of Ram and Sita. Many devotees from Mithila get dressed in their ancestral attire and go to Ayodhya to perform on the stage. This magnificent event is known as Ram Vivah Utsav.
Lord Ram and Sita’s holy matrimony ritual takes place with great zeal with chanting and singing devotional songs to worship the idols. Delightful traditional food is served to the ordinary people as part of the many temples’ holy meals. Many cultural shows and stage performances are also commonly organized for this occasion by various communities other than the festivities at the temples.
Suggested Read: Shri Rama Navami