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Karkidaka Vavu 2019 date - Karkidaka Vavu Bali Importance in Kerala - What is Vavu Bali?

Vavu Bali, or Karkidaka Vavu Bali, is a ritual, or rites, dedicated to dead ancestors performed by Hindus in Kerala in the Malayalam month of Karkidakam. Karkidaka Vavu Bali 2019 date is July 31. Dead parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, relatives and ancestors are remembered on the no moon day (Karutha Vavu) in Karkidaka Masam and ‘Shraddham’ for them is performed on the seashore and on riverbanks. The ritual performed for the souls of the dead is referred as ‘Bali’ in Kerala and Vavu is Amavasya or no moon day.

Importance of Vavu Bali in Kerala

The ‘bali’ – a form of ritualistic homage – is offered on the first Amavasi of Dakshinayanam. This is the no moon day in the month of Karkidakam. On this day, thousands of people gather on the riverbanks and beaches to offer ‘bali.’ Temples and religious organizations make elaborate arrangements for the ritual. It is believed that the souls of dead ancestors attain ‘moksha’ when ‘Vavu Bali’ is offered.

In Kerala, ‘Bali’ is performed on no moon day, known as Karutha Vavu in Malayalam. Bali is also performed on the star or Nakshatra the person died or the date. But ‘Bali’ performed on Amavasya day in Karkidakam month is considered highly auspicious and it is believed that souls of the dead are pacified easily.

The Bali in Karkidakam month is important because the Dakshinayana period begins in this month. It is considered to be the night of the Devas. The popular belief is that ancestors will achieve moksha during the period due to the Bali performed by relatives on the earth.

Fasting on the day before Karkidaka Vavu

People who perform pitru bali on Vavu day only take a single meal on the day before. Onion, fried items and pickle are avoided on the previous day. People opt for a simple vegetarian food. This a sort of preparation to make the mind sattvic. 

How is Karkidaka Vavu Observed?

The Vavu Bali is performed under the guidance of an elderly person or priest. Darbha (a type of long grass), pavithram (ring made of darbha grass), sesame (Ellu), cheroola (a special herb), ellu (sesame), cooked rice, water and banana leaves are the important accompaniments needed for performing bali ritual. A lot of flexibility is shown in the ritual and the items needed change locally.

The Vavu Bali ritual is offered by men, women and children. The men only wear a dhoti while performing the ritual. In some areas, people tie a red cloth on the waist.

The ‘bali’ ritual which is done on a banana leaf and it is finally taken to the river or sea and the person who offered the bali dips in the water along with the offering and leaves it in the water.

In northern part of Kerala, people believe that the dead ancestors pay visit to homes on the Karkidaka Vavu day. Therefore people prepare and offer Ada (a sweet made of rice) to the departed souls.

How to Perform Pitru Tarpanam in Malayalam?

  • പുലർച്ചയ്ക്കു കുളിച്ച ശേഷം തർപ്പണത്തിനെത്തുന്നവർ പിണ്ഡം തയാറാക്കിയശേഷം നവദേവതകളെയും മനസ്സിൽ സങ്കൽപ്പിച്ച് ദർഭാസനത്തിൽ പിതൃക്കളെ ആവാഹിച്ചിരുത്തുന്നു.
  • എള്ളും ജലവും കൊണ്ടു തിലോദകം അർപ്പിക്കുന്നു.
  • നാക്കിലയിലെ ദർഭാസനത്തിൽ മന്ത്രോച്ചാരണത്തോടെ അർപ്പിക്കുന്ന പിണ്ഡത്തിൽ പിതൃക്കളെ ആത്മശാന്തിക്കായുളള പ്രാർഥനാമന്ത്രങ്ങൾ ഉരുവിടണം.
  • പിണ്ഡത്തിൽ പിതൃക്കളെ സങ്കൽപ്പിച്ചാണു പൂജ.
  • രാമ, കൃഷ്ണമന്ത്രങ്ങൾ ചൊല്ലിക്കൊണ്ട് പിണ്ഡം ജലത്തിൽ ഒഴുക്കുകയോ (ജലബലി) കാക്കകൾക്കു നൽകുകയോ (കാകബലി)ചെയ്യും.
  • തടാകത്തിലോ നദിയിലോ പാപനാശിനിയായ ഗംഗയെ ആവാഹിച്ചാണു പിണ്ഡം ഒഴുക്കുന്നത്.
  • ഇതിനുള്ള സൗകര്യം ഇല്ലാത്തിടത്താണു സാധാരണ കാകബലി നടത്തുക. 

Important Places for Karkidaka Vavu Bali in Kerala

Some the important places and temples to offer Vavu Bali in Kerala – Thirunelli Nava Mukunda Temple, Varkala Papanasam, Thirunavaya, Sri Sundarekhsa Temple Kannur, Thrikkunnapuzha, Thiruvilwamala Vilwadrinatha Temple, Shanghumukham Trivandrum, Aranmula, Thiruvallam, Kollam Thirumullavaram, Aluva, Chelamattom Sreekrishna Temple, Tricherpuram Shankaranarayana Temple, Kadinamkulam Mahadeva Temple, Thiruvilwamala Pampady iIvar Madam etc.,.

Important temples on the river banks are ideally chosen for offering Vavu Bali.

Same day Same Ritual in Neighboring State

On the same day, Aadi Amavasai is observed in neighboring Tamil Nadu and people perform rites dedicated to the dead. Thousands of devout Hindus also take a holy dip in important Teerthams and sacred rivers on the day.