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