Bibah Panchami (December)
AIl the people of the Hindu world know the story of the marriage of their hero Ram and the princess
Sita, as told in the epic Ramayana. 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, kings and chieftains came from afar, but no man could even lift the bow. Ram lifted the bow with ease and when he tried to string it, the bow shattered into pieces. Ram and Sita were married in
Janakpur, now in southern Nepal, and their marriage is celebrated to this day.
Each year, idols of Ram and Sita are brought out in procession and their Hindu wedding ceremony is re-enacted during a week-long religious fair. Bibah Panchami reflects the devotion of Hindus to Ram, perhaps the most popular among the incarnations of Vishnu, and to
Sita, the model of the ideal Hindu woman.
National Parks and