The ‘Karkidaka Vavu’, falls on Wednesday this year and corresponds with the 15th day of the month of Karkidakam according to the Malayalam calendar and July 31 as per the Gregorian calendar this year.
Prayers and offerings are made on this day to appease departed souls. The ceremony is termed ‘Pithru Sradham’ or ‘bali’ in local parlance.
'Sradham' refers to symbolically feeding parents or elders who have passed away and resemble rituals to propitiate the Hindu Gods or deities.
Many people conduct the ‘bali’ rituals based on the zodiac sign at the time of death or the ‘tithi’ (death anniversary). Among them, a majority lays stress on the star signs.
Noted astrologer Kanipayyur Narayanan Namboothiripad explains the method of offering the ritual and its importance.
A day of the ancestors is considered to be equal to our 365 and a quarter days. For instance, if a person passes away on the Aswathy star in the month of Dhanu, it would be one year for us when the same star arrives during next Dhanu, but according to astrology, ancestors would have spent only one day during this period.
Departed souls would be pleased if the oblations are offered according to the star signs. However, the pace of modern living had made it difficult for many people to keep a track of the death anniversary of their ancestors. For them, the Karkidaka Vavu offers a solution.
It is believed that offeing ‘bali’ on the amavasi (new moon day) in the month of Karkidakam is ideal for attracting prosperity and wealth and for the well-being of the progeny.