KARKIDAKA VAVU BALI-THE DAY WHEN SPIRITS COME ALIVE:
Beneath everything lies trust and faith.
It is only because of our Ancestors that we live and thrive in the present. A fact that is undeniable, in both biological as well spiritual senses. World over propitiating spirits is a practice that is done with fervor and dedication. The names of these events may differ from place to place but the practice is constant all across. In any case one thing is for certain we never can disown ancestors, for we live through them.
Karkidaka Vavu is an important day for Hindus in Kerala. On this day we offer them food and drink, the essence for survival, which is known as”Balitarpan.
Hindus believe that ancestral spirits are ever present around us, and it is our responsibility to keep them happy and satisfied. “Karkida Bali” is offered by people in certain temples, at homes of Namboodiris, called as Illams or even at their own homes. My dad when he was in Karnataka would make an elaborate affair during the death anniversaries of his father and mother ( My paternal grandparents) at home. Appam, Vada and Ell unda formed the most important items for us as kids, which continued for days as snacks while in school.
With my Dad no more, I and my siblings offer Balitarpan (for my Dad and for all other ancestors) at an Illam in Tripunithura,Ernakulam.
In different parts of Kerala, they are done differently although the essence remains the same. It is believed that what is one year in this world for us is just a day for the departed souls in their world, and so offering them food and water a day in a year is as good as offering them every day.
Whether or not another world exists, the practice of propitiating ancestors has existed from time immemorial.
At the end of the day what is Life if one does not care about his roots and ancestors.
Sadly CoVid 19 restrictions have, restricted the ceremony this time.
And I am sure, our ancestors and the departed souls will excuse us this time, for after all we learnt everything from them including forbearance and other life skills.
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