Sita Navami celebrates the birth of Goddess Sita.
She's the daughter of the Earth, goddess of purity, and one of the central characters in the Ramayan.
Once upon a time...
A king named Janaka was working in a furrow when he discovered a golden cradle with a baby girl inside. He saw her as a gift from the earth and adopted her. He named her Sita, which comes from the Sanskrit word “Seet” which means furrow. With no true biological mother, Sita was raised by King Janaka and his wife Sunaina.
Once Sita was playing with her sister and she accidentally lifted the Pinaka Bow, which no one could do at the time. Her father witnessed this and decided that only the man who can lift this bow will be able to marry Sita.
The Pinaka Bow was once Lord Shiva’s weapon, which was powerful enough to cause a total destruction of the earth. He gifted it to King Janaka’s father, but no one – even the Gods – could lift it.
When it came time to find Sita a suitor, King Janaka arranged a swayamvar, or a ceremony for the bride to choose a groom.
But there was a condition: “You must be able to string this bow.”
Lord Rama passed the test with flying colors.
Years later when Sita died, she returned to her roots. The ground split open and she fell inside, leaving behind a life of exile. She became a symbol of sacrifice and loyalty through the trials and tribulations she experienced.
This year, Sita Navami falls on May 10th. Married women honor her legacy by fasting all day for long life and health for themselves and/or their husbands.
This day is meant to honor mothers and wives and ensure that everyone in their relationships maintains good fortune.