Malayala Ramayana Masam is observed in the Malayalam month of Karkitakam (July – August) in the
of Kerala. In 2016, the Ramayana Masam begins (date) on July 16 and ends on August 16. The entire month is dedicated to the recitation of the Adhyatma Ramayanam Kilippattu in the evening or morning. The Ramayan reading begins on the first day of the month and a portion of the epic is read on all days and is completely read by last day of the month. South Indian State
Adhyatma Ramayanam Kilippattu written by Thunchath Ezhuthachan is the most famous Malayalam version of the Epic Ramayan and this is chosen for recitation during Ramayana Masam.
After the evening prayers, family members – led by an elderly person in the family – sit before Nila Vilakku (Traditional Kerala Lamp) and recite the Ramayan. Adhyatma Ramayanam is in verse and it is a unique experience listening to an experienced person rendering the Epic in Malayalam.
Today the reading of Ramayanam in Hindu houses in Kerala is a rarity and instead people listen to Ramayana readings on numerous Malayalam satellite channels. Ramayanam is now read mainly in temples and in programs conducted by Hindu religious organizations.
Hindu spiritual and religious organizations also organize public discourses, quiz competitions, plays and recitals based on Ramayana in the month.
Another unique feature of the month is the sale of Adhyatma Ramayanam. All the major publishers in Kerala bring out the Adhyatma Ramayanam Kilippattu written by Thunchath Ezhuthachan. Nowadays, CDs, VCDs and DVDs of Ramayana recital are released in the month.
Some people undertake a pilgrimage to the four temples dedicated to Lord Ram and his brothers in Kerala in the Ramayana Masam. This is known as the Nalambalam Darshanam.
The Amavasi or No moon day in Ramayana Masam is dedicated to dead ancestors and Hindus perform Shradham and Tarpan and it is known as Karkidakavavu Bali.