Vivah Panchami is celebrated by devotees all across the world today, i.e. the 5th day of Shukla Paksha or the bright lunar fortnight in the Margashirsha month. The festival commemorates the wedding of Lord Rama and Sita Devi.
Story Behind Vivah Panchami:
Legend has it that the great Sage Vishwamitra once called upon King Dasharatha and told him that his yagnas and other sacred rituals were being disturbed by demons who poured blood and bones on the sacred fires. He requested the King to send Lord Rama and Lakshmana to his ashram as only they can kill the demons and help him in conducting the yagnas smoothly. After several fierce battles, Lord Rama and Lakshmana killed all the demons and helped Sage Vishwamitra in conducting the yagnas. The Sage then took the young princes to Mithila where King Janaka held a Swayamvara for his daughter – Sita Devi. A number of princes attended the Swayamvara to win the hand of Sita Devi. At the Swayamvara, King Dasharatha challenged all the assembled princes to lift the bow of Lord Shiva and string it. While all the other princes failed, Lord Rama lifted the bow and in fact broke the bow while attempting to string it. A delighted Lord Dasharatha then conducted the wedding of Lord Rama and Sita Devi.
Ritual to be followed:
Temples dedicated to Lord Ram in North India celebrate the festival with pomp and grandeur. A number of devotees also visit Janakpur in Nepal where Maa Sita is believed to have been born and married to Lord Rama. On this day, devotees across the world listen to Ramayana and learn the virtues of Lord Rama – who is glorified as Maryada Purushottam.