Karadaiyan Nonbu Special !!!
Karadaiyan Nonbu (pronounced 'Car-a-dye-on Nomboo') is a festival of special significance to married women all over Southern India including states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.(But i think its a different name, but the same ritual).This is observed for their respective and prospective husband’s well being and that the couples should remain together always.
Especially observed by the women of Tamil Nadu, Karadaiyan Nonbu, is celebrated at the conjunction of the Tamil months Masi and Panguni. It is to remember the great battle won by Savithri - a mythological character - over the God of Death - Yama, not by arms or ammunitions but by her clever arguments to regain her husband’s life. But, it was Savithri’s genuine prayers and bhakti to Goddess Gowri that has given her the strength and wisdom to win back her husband's life from Yaman, the Lord of Death. So,women offer their prayers to Goddess Gowri or Kamakshi following the footsteps of Savithri to plead for a long married life (Dheerga Sowmangalyam - they pray for longevity and welfare of their husband).
Savithri was the daughter of king Aswapathi who ruled Mathra. She was married to Sathyavan, son of another king, according to her wish. Despite Naradha’s warning that Sathyavan would die within a year of marriage, Savithri married him. But as a devout wife, she started worshipping Goddess Gowri to protect her mangalyam, - that is, to change the fate and give her husband a long life. On the first day of Panguni, the following year, fate snatched away Sathyavan suddenly. When Yama appeared to take away the life of Sathyavan, Savithri did not give up easily. She argued with Yama, and regained the life of her spouse and in addition begot four more boons too! And they lived happily ever after. Thus goes the story....
So following the tradition the nonbu is observed every year by all women to protect their mangalyam. Normally the Nonbu is observed just before the onset of Panguni, when the last few hours of Masi are left. The exact time to carry out the Nonbu would be told by the family 'vadyar mama'. The pooja room at home is lit with the traditional lamp (kuthu villaku). Kolams are drawn (Arisi maavu will be used for this) in front of the pooja room.Plantain leaves will be placed in order according to the number of women and girl children in the household. If the number is an odd one, one more leaf will be placed for the Goddess. On the right corner of the plantain leaves will be placed the thamboolam along with a banana. The main item is the sacred yellow cotton string - Saradu (tied in the middle with some flower), which the vadyar mamas'normally give to every household well in advance.
On this day, two special dishes are made and offered to the Lord. One is a savoury signifying Lord Siva and the other one is a sweet signifying Goddess Shakti.(Karadais and vella adais are specially made for the occasion with rice flour,jaggery and Kaaramani - a red coloured dry beans). The adais are then placed on the plantain leaves along with 'Vennai'.
Then, every one (married women and even young girls) have to take a sort of vow in front of their offering to offer the same (" Urugada Vennaiyum oradaiyum naan tharuven - orukaalum en kanavar ennai piriyadirukkanum") meaning that year after year - their only wish being that of a long life for their spouse and tie this sacred yellow colour thread around their neck.
After offering the Nivedhyam to the Goddess, the older woman (usually paati else amma) in the house ties one of the Saradu placed in front of her to the Ambal picture in the pooja room.The next day few adais are given to a cow.
Among the many festivals of South India, Karadaiyan Nonbu is more a renewal of the faith in the tradition.
Courtesy : A few sources on net and my amma .
Pictures : Pooja Room at my home using my A520 !!.