Vivah Panchami is a sacred Hindu festival that celebrates the divine marriage between Lord Sri Ram and Goddess Sita. It is observed on the fifth day of the Shukla paksha or waxing phase of moon in the Margashirsha month according to the Hindu calendar.
The festival is mainly observed in the Northern parts of India, Mithilanchal region and Nepal.
According to the epic Ramayana it was on this day that the prince of Ayodhya, Lord Sri Ram who is the incarnation of God Vishnu visited the kingdom of Janaka (presently situated on the border of Nepal) and won the hand of goddess Sita in marriage by breaking the bow. Janakpur is regarded as the birth place of Sita Devi. Since then, people have been celebrating the day with great religious fervour to immortalize the marriage ceremony of the eldest son of King of Ayodhya Dasharath, Lord Ram, and King Janak’s daughter Sita that took place in the Treta Yug.
How is Vivah Panchami Celebrated?
This day is celebrated with great grandeur in Sri Ram’s birth place, Ayodhya. The many centuries-old temples light up on Sri Ram Vivah Panchmi. The celebrations usually involve enactment of the wedding ceremony. A grand wedding procession is held that passes from one temple to another during the day and culminates with the wedding ceremony in the evening. The event is also referred as Ram Vivah Utsav. On this day devotional songs from Ramayana are sung by the devotees.
The festival is also celebrated with great fanfare in Janakpur which is regarded as the birth place of Goddess Sita. Special poojas and rituals are held at temples across Janakpur including renowned Janaki, Ram and Dashrath temples. Devotees also throng the famous lakes of Mithilanchal like Gangasagar, Dhanushsagar and Argaza pond to perform the Vivaha Panchami rituals.
On this day in Janakpur idols of idols of Ram and Sita dressed as the bridegroom and bride are brought out in bright processions and their wedding ceremony is enacted at Janaki temple in the evening as per the Hindu customs. A week long religious fair is also held at Janakpur to celebrate the wedding ceremony.
Thousands and thousands of pilgrimage visit Janakpur during Vivah Panchami festival. Not only the Nepalese but also pilgrims from India take part in the festival in large number.