Karkidaka Vavu in India in 2022

Karkidaka Vavu in India in 2022
Offerings are made to ancestors on Karkidaka Vavu.

  How long until Karkidaka Vavu?
Karkidaka Vavu
  Dates of Karkidaka Vavu in India
2022 Kerala Thu, Jul 28 Regional Holiday
2020 Kerala Mon, Jul 20 Regional Holiday
2019 Kerala Wed, Jul 31 Regional Holiday
2018 Kerala Sat, Aug 11 Regional Holiday
2016 Kerala Tue, Aug 2 Regional Holiday
  Summary

Karkidaka Vavu is a ritual dedicated to dead ancestors performed by Hindus in Kerala.

When is Karkidaka Vavu?

Karkidaka Vavu is a regional public holiday in the southern Indian state of Kerala on the full moon in the month of Karkidakam in the Malayalam calendar. This means it falls in July or August in the western calendar.

Karkidaka Vavu or "Karkidaka Vavu Bali" or spelt Karkkadaka Vavu is the name for the rituals performed by the Hindus in the state of Kerala for their dead ancestors.

Traditions of Karkidaka Vavu

Karkidakam is the last month in the Malayalam calendar and holds religious significance for Hindus in the state of Kerala. On the new moon at the start of the month, ceremonies for deceased family members are held. 

Though Bali (rites) are held for ancestors on different days, any Bali offered on Vavu (the new moon) is seen as the most auspicious.

On Karkidaka Vavu, large numbers of devotees perform the ‘Bali Tharpanam’ ritual in several Holy rivers, temples and seashores across Kerala. Varkala Papanasam beach is one of the major religious destinations on the day.

Licensed priests lead the rituals at huge pandals where many people can perform the rite at a time.

The person performing the Bali observes a fast on this day and is only allowed to eat one meal comprising of rice - a practice called orikka (meaning 'once'). The other members of the family can eat three meals of rice. Eating non-vegetarian food is strictly prohibited on the day. In most of the households in Kerala, a special preparation of steamed rice known as ‘Vavu ada’ is prepared. 

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