Today is Sri Rama Navami. It comes on the ninth day of the the Chaitra masam (first month according to the Telugu calendar). This festival is celebrated through out India. In south India, today we celebrate the day with marriage of Rama and Sita. It is performed in all the temples and especially in Bhadrachalam. It is very auspicious. My grandfather reads the Sundarakanda parvam of Ramayanam starting from Ugadi to Sri Rama Navami. When my grandmother was alive, they used to do it on a larger scale and more authentically. We usually used to go for lunch to their place on Rama Navami.
We mainly make two special dishes today – Panakam and Vada pappu. These are very simple to make and very tasty. It is said that lord Rama was a very down to earth person and it does not take much to please him. I always like to know why certain dishes are made on certain days. So, I found that Panakam and Vada pappu are very good for the summer heat. Panakam is made with jaggery and black pepper which helps ward away the heat. But, at the same time, if you drink lots of it, you will get an upset stomach. That is probably why we make it once in the beginning of summer. Vada pappu is made with moong dal. It is also very good for health.
I am happy to be in India today. It just feels nice. I got to watch some nice old movies today and took lots of rest. Since Sarath still has the jet lag, we just stayed home and took rest.