Karadaiyan Nonbu occurs on the day when the Maasi Month ends and Panguni Month begins as per Tamil Calendar. At the same time, Meena Sankranti / Sankrama also occurs.
Karadaiyan Nonbu Vrat is mostly observed by Tamil speaking people. For the year 2021, this festival occurs on Sunday, 14th March 2021. The exact time has to be ascertained from the respective regional calendar. The other name for this festival is Savitri Nonbu Vrat.
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Karadaiyan Nonbu – The legend
The story of Savitri and Satyavaan is narrated in Brahma Vaivarta Puran.
Brahma Vaivarta Puran
Savitri was a pious and devout woman. She got married to a Prince name Satyavaan who was also called as Sathyavanta. Savitri was very much devoted to her husband.
One day, Satyavaan went to the forest to pluck some fruits. She too went with him. When he was plucking the fruits, suddenly he fell down and died.
Savitri saw the Deity Yama taking away her husband. She stopped Yama. Yama told her that her husband’s life ended due to his previous birth karma effects.
Savitri did not accept Yama’s reasoning. She kept following him asking him to return her husband to life.
With persistence, she also had fierce discussions with Yama on various aspects of life. Yama was forced to stop and talk to her.
She asked him about Karma and its effects. He told her the underlying principles of Karma. By the time he finished his narrative, he cannot help but appreciate her determination.
Yama told her that she could ask for any boon. She immediately asked for 100 children with her husband. Yama granted the boon. With the effect of his boon, Satyavaan also came to life. Pleased with her devoutness, Yama also told her about the benefits of various daans (donations).
It is believed that Savitri had observed complete fasting till she got her husband back on that day. After the revival of her husband, she had prepared a dish with rice flour, red beans and jaggery. She offered the dish alongwith the butter to Yama as Neivedyam and as a mark of gratitude.
Karadaiyan Nonbu – Rituals
This Vrat is observed by women for the well being of their husbands. Even unmarried girls / women observe this Vrat for the well-being of the male members of the family.
The women observe complete fasting for the day till the puja time. The fast is broken with the special dishes named vella adai and kaara adai which are offered as Neivedyam at puja.
The general rituals:
-The entire house including the puja place should be cleaned.
-The entrance of the house and the puja place should be adorned with Rangolis. Rangolis can be made with rice flour at the puja place.
-The entrance has to be decorated with mango leaves.
-After ascertaining the exact time of the puja, a peet or plank has to be kept at the puja place.
-A five faced lamp (kuthu vilakku) has to be kept on the plank. Both the plank and the lamp are to be adorned with Chandan, Kumkum and flowers.
-According to the number of married women at home, strings of cotton mangal sutra threads smeared with turmeric are to be prepared. For unmarried women / girls, simple turmeric smeared threads are to be kept ready. A string of flowers should be attached to each of the sutra / thread. The turmeric smeared sutras / threads are readily available in the market as Thali / Nonbu Charadu. The sutras are to be kept at the puja place and the specific mantra as advised by the family elders has to be recited to sanctify the sutras.
-Sri Savitri should be invoked with appropriate mantras as advised by the family elders.
-Sri Parvathi Devi in any manifestation and / or Sri Mahalakshmi are to be worshipped.
-Special dishes such as Kaara Adai (rice flour with salt and red beans) and Vella adai (rice flour with jaggery and red beans) are to be offered with butter as Neivedyam. It is considered auspicious to offer the Neivedyam on plantain leaves.
-After that, the married women should wear the new mangal sutra & nonbu sutra around their neck. The other women / girls also should wear the nonbu sutra.
-After tying the sutra, each of the married women should take an adai and put some butter on it. The slogan “உருகாத வெண்ணையும் ஓரடையும் நான் நூற்றேன். ஒருக்காலும் என் கணவர் என்னை விட்டு பிரியாதிருக்க வேண்டும்” has to be recited. The meaning of this slogan is “I have prepared the adai and offer it with the non- melted butter to you. Bless me that my husband never leaves me even for a day”.
-Then the women should do namaskarams to the family elders.
-The special adai prasadam should be distributed to all at home.
-On the next day, some adais are to be offered to the cows also.
Karadaiyan Nonbu – possible benefits
It is believed that
-the general well-being of the family members will enhance;
-unmarried girls / women get married soon;
-overall auspiciousness shall prevail.