Celebrating the Sacred Bond of Marriage: Karadaiyan Nonbu and Tamil Culture

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

ॐ श्री गुरुभ्यो नमः ॐ श्री शिवानन्दाय नमः ॐ श्री चिदानन्दाय नमः ॐ श्री दुर्गायै नमः 

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Karadaiyan Nonbu Kalasham

Karadaiyan Nonbu is a festival performed by married women from the Tamil community. It is celebrated on the first day of Panguni in the south Indian calendar as it represents the fish like shape of the eyes of Goddess Parvati. Her Birthday falls on the same day.

Karadaiyan Nombu Kolam - iKolam
Karadaiyan Nonbu Kolam
Karadaiyan Nonbu Prasadam

Legend & Celebration :

Historically, married women pray to the Hindu goddess Gowri and pray for longevity and well-being of their respective husbands.

Women try to echo the devotion and love shown by Savitri for her husband Satyavan, as seen in the tale of Savitri and Satyavan, told in the Hindu  epic  Mahabharata.

Married women fast that day. Before the auspicious time, women draw  Kolam infront of their Pooja room, take bath and officiate the ceremony with the pooja. Typically, an offering made out of rice powder and jaggery is prepared and offered to the goddess.

It is said that Savitri’s devotion towards Goddess Gowri gave her the strength and wisdom to win back her husband’s life from lord Yama, the Lord of death.

She won the battle not by arms or ammunition, but by her clever arguments. When Yama offered her a wish, she prayed for a thousand sons. After he agreed, Savitri sought the life of her dead husband back to fulfill this wish.

Karadaiyan Nonbu Prasadam

Preparation of Adai :

Bhog is a special Adai prepared out of rice flour, black eyed peas, jaggery and coconut. It is eaten hot and with butter

Chitra's Food Book
Karadaiyan Nonbu
Food From My Kitchen: Karadayan Nombu 2015 / Karadaiyan Nombu 2015
Karadaiyan Nonbu

Karadaiyan Nombu is named after Savitri, who freed her husband, Satyavan from the clutches of Yaman (Yama), the God of Death. Savitri is hailed as a Pativrata Patni meaning a doting and a devout wife.

Karadaiyan Nombu also known as Savitri Nombu Vratam is a festival celebrated by married women, who pray for the well being of their husbands while the unmarried ones pray to get an ideal life partner.

It is similar to Karva Chauth celebrated in North India. Married and unmarried women keep a fast until they offer their prayers to the Mother Goddess, Gowri/Gauri.

On this day, women tie a sacred yellow thread (saradu/charadu) around their neck after worshipping the deity.

Significance of this Vratha :

This vratham is named after Savitri, who freed her husband, Satyavan from the clutches of Yaman (Yama), the God of Death. Savitri is hailed as a pativrata patni meaning a doting and a devout wife.

This vratham day is believed to be the blessed day when Savitri compelled Yama to restore Satyavan’s life.

The Vratham is also called Karadaiyan because it is named after a recipe offered as Naivedhyam to the Goddess. Karadaiyan (Kara, meaning salty + Adai, meaning Vada). So this Vratham without the Karadai is incomplete.

What is Karadai? :

Karadai is made of rice flour, grated fresh coconut, some soaked white kidney beans, green chillies, water and salt to taste. The batter is steamed, and the finished recipe resembles a Medu Vada in looks. 

Another recipe is prepared with similar ingredients, but the jaggery replaces salt. These two are served with white butter.

How to observe a Vratham? :

The Puja room in the house is cleaned and decorated with flowers and Kolam (Rangoli). An oil or Ghee lamp is lit. Women offer flowers and chant their prayers. Then they wish for the well-being of their husband.

After chanting the mantras dedicated to the Mother Goddess and reciting the shlokas, the devotees offer the Naiveidhyam along with a platter called Tamboolam consisting of two beetle leaves, beetle nut, Haldi, Kumkum, flowers, coconut, bananas and currency notes or coins.

After offering these, they tie a sacred yellow thread called charadai around their neck, post which they consume the karadai as prasadam.

Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

By Mala Chandrashekhar

Introducing Blogger Mala Chandrashekhar - a specialist academically trained in modern Western sciences, yet deeply enamored with India's timeless ethnic arts, crafts, and textiles. Her heart beats for the rich and glorious cultural and spiritual heritage of India, and she has dedicated her entire blog to spreading the immortal glories of ancient India worldwide. Through her simple yet impactful blog posts, Mala aims to reach every nook and corner of the globe, sharing India's beauty and wisdom with the world.

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