Today – Karkidaka Vavu Bali

published on July 29, 2011

Karkidaka Vavu Bali in Kerala – Vavubali 2011

Karkidaka Vavubali or Karkidaka Vavu Bali is an important Hindu religious observance performed in honour of the forefathers in Kerala, South India. Vavu is Amavasya or no moon day and Karkidakom ((mid July to mid August) is the last month of Malayalam calendar. For Tamilians, this Ancestral worship is known as Aadi Amasvasi or Amavasya which is also dedicated to the forefathers. The 2011 Karkidaka Vavubali date is on 30th July 2011, Monday.

The importance of Karkidaka Vavubali

According to the Hindu custom, if a member in the family dies, the younger ones in the family have to perform Bali (also called Pithru Tharpanam) to make the soul get eternal peace. The Bali carried out on Karkidaka Vavu (Karkidakavavu) day is called Vavubali and is of great importance. It is believed that performing Bali Tharpanam on Karkidaka Vavu day will help to appease the souls of ancestors brings good fortunes and prosperity.

Usually the Bali or Pitru Tarpanam is performed calculating the date and nakshatra on which the family member died. However, Karkidaka Vavu bali is performed regardless of the date or nakshatra of death of the deceased member. Also, the rites are conducted as per the Hindu custom and performed in beaches and waterways. One of the noted feature of Karkidaka Vavu bali is that almost all Hindus in Kerala make it a point to perform Karkidakavavu Bali and conduct ancestral worship on this day.

The Ritual

According to Hindu Kerala tradition, people observe fast on the day before performing the ritual. The persons performing the rites are guided by priests. Taking a dip in the sacred water before and after the ritual is necessary. Usually, Karkidaka Vavubali ritual is performed only men. However, in some places, women also take part in this ritual.

Important places where Karkidaka Vavubali is performed

The important temples and places where Karkidaka Vavubali is performed include Shangumughom Beach in Thiruvananthapuram, Papanasam Beach in Varkala, Sri Parasurama Temple in Thiruvallam, Aruvikkara in Trivandrum, Thrivikramangalam, banks of river Periyar at Aluva, Bharathapuzha at Thirunavaya in Malappuram, Kozhikode Beach and other temples and beaches.

Importance of Karkkidaka Vavu Bali by Shri Dilip Kumar

Karkkidakavavu bali( pitru tarpanam) is the ritual to propitiate the souls of the ancestors, performed in Kerala on the vavu or new moon day of the Malayalam month Karkkidakom (Cancer). These elaborate rituals of worship are performed standing waist deep in the river or beach.

Karkkidakavavu bali is performed at certain places like the banks of the river Bharathappuzha at Thirunavaya in Malappuram district, Varaikkal beach at Kozhikode, Shankhumugham beach at Thiruvananthapuram and Varkala beach. Boiled rice, turmeric, thulasi (Ocimum) etc are used for the rituals connected to the bali.

Usually the bali is performed on the death anniversary of a person, but Karkkidakavavu is a day common to all and performing the ritual on the day is believed to be auspicious. This custom of ancestor worship is practised in the hope that the soul of the beloved departed will attain salvation and be free of any wordly bonds that might not give eternal rest. The Pujaris (hindu priests) help and guide devotees in chanting the mantras and performing the rituals.

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