Karkadaka Vavu (കര്ക്കടക വാവ്)
Posted August 2, 2009on:
I had already mentioned the holiness of this month in my earlier post. A very important day in this month is ‘Karutha vavu'(കറുത്ത വാവ്) which means new moon day in Malayalam . 21 July was Karutha vavu and on this day all Hindus perform sacred rituals, for their dead relatives and ancestors which is called ‘bali'(ബലി), and is considered highly auspicious. Members of every family gather at temples, near river banks or sea shores and perform the rituals.
A ‘bali’ is normally done immediately after a person dies and repeated every year on the moon sign of the demise day. Its a set of rituals performed by the dead person’s son or relatives, to enable the dead person attain Moksha. I couldn’t find any article explaining in detail the steps in the rituals. I know only vaguely, so when I manage to find someone to explain me , I will make sure to blog it. 🙂 Its an interesting subject!!
Two years back we visited Thiruvallam Parusuram temple in Thiruvananthapuram. Its considered to be a holy place for doing ‘bali’ rituals. The crowd was enormous. 1000 people were allowed in one go to perform the ritual, with a priest giving directions. We were lucky to enter in the first 1000, which started by morning 4:00. It took us 3o min to complete the rituals. I guess this goes on till afternoon. Imagine the crowd!! There are several such holy places throughout Kerala.
Among the Hindus in Kerala, during celebrations or any occasions non-veg is completely avoided. On the day of ‘bali’, normally a fasting is also taken by the person performing the rituals. People from Kerala or South India in general, mainly eat rice, in various form thrice a day. The person performing ‘bali’ is to take rice only one time a day.
In most of the houses ‘Vavu ada’ (വാവ് അട) is prepared, which is a preparation of rice flour dough stuffed with jaggery and coconut scraped. Its wrapped in banana leaf and steamed.
I did a trial!! I didn’t get a banana leaf so I prepared without it. To be honest I actually prepared a flat shaped kozhukatta(കൊഴുക്കട്ട) :-). Maybe when I actually prepare the exact ‘vavu ada’ I will add those snaps too.