Ramayana Masam (Malayalam: രാമായണ മാസം) is an important observance in the state of Kerala. It is observed in the month of ‘Karkidakam’ of the Malayalam calendar while in the Gregorian calendar it corresponds to the months of July to August. This festival is also popularly known as ‘Karkidaka Masam’.

Ramayana Masam 2019 began on July 17, Wednesday and will end on August 16, Friday.

Image Source: Prokerala.com

During this time, there is a ritual to read Ramayana (Ramayana Parayanam) on all the days of the month in almost all Hindu households. Hindu organizations perform this ritual in almost all temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Ramayana is one of the greatest Hindu epics that hold great religious significance. During the Ramayana Masam, the recitation of Ramayana starts from the first day of the Karkidakam Masam and continues till the last day.

Karkidakam is considered a lean month and is therefore not considered for any auspicious ceremonies like marriages or house warming or start of new projects etc. However, the month is ideal for treatments, pilgrimage and worship.

Rituals of Ramayana Masam and Ramayana Parayanam:

The rituals of Ramayana masam and reading of Ramayanam during this period should be performed with utmost care, devotion and involves a rigorous routine.

Families observing this holy practice must clean their home and sorroundings atleast a week ahead of the start of Karkidakam month. Family members should adopt a strict vegeterian diet through out the month. This should be a period of complete celibacy and even such thoughts should not be allowed to malign your mind.

Completely give up gossiping, day sleeping, sarcasm, violence and ego for these will render the benefits of the observance void.

Starting from the first day, every day during the Karkidakam Masam, all the members of the house gather, after sunset. After lighting the evening lamp, they sit close to the ‘Nilavilakku’ or the traditional Kerala lamp and narrate the verses of ‘Adhyatma Ramayana’ (the Malayalam version of Ramayana). The reading of Ramayana is managed in a way that it ends on the last day of the Karkidakam Masam.

Besides the practice of reading Ramayan during the Ramayana Masam in the households (which is now a rarity), the recitation of this epic is done in Lord Vishnu temples. Several religious and spiritual organisations conduct plays, public discourses, recitals and quiz competition based on Ramayana during this month. Hindu devotees actively participate in these events with full enthusiasm.

The Amavasya (new moon) of the Karkidakam Masam (Karkidaka vavu) is dedicated to ancestors. On this day Hindus perform special rituals close to water bodies for attainment of peace of their deceased family members. This ritualistic homage is performed by the male member of the family.

Also during Ramayana Masam, Hindus also undertake pilgrimage to the four temples of Lord Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna, located in Kottayam and Thrissur districts. This ritual is known as ‘Nalambalam Darshanam’.

Important Timings On Ramayana Masam

SunriseJuly 17, 2019 5:54 AM
SunsetJuly 17, 2019 7:11 PM
Karkidakam Start17 July, 2019
Karkidakam End16 August, 2019
Amavasya Tithi StartJuly 31, 2019 11:57 AM
Amavasya Tithi EndAugust 01, 2019 8:41 AM
Place : Ujjain [ India ]   See More

Significance of Ramayana Masam:

The period of Ramayana Masam is held sacred for Hindus, especially in the southern parts of the country. Ramayana is a Sanskrit epic written by Sage Valmiki. It was translated in the Malayalam language by Thunchath Ezhuthachan and is known as ‘Adhyatma Ramayana Kilippattu’. It is this Malayalam version that is read during the Ramayana Masam. Karkidakam is the period of spirituality and devotion in Kerala. However as per the Malayalam Panchangam, auspicious functions and new business ventures are not initiated during this period.

In the Malayalam calendar, Karkidakam Masam is the last month and during this time monsoon is at its peak. Owing to the heavy rains, Karkidakam Masam is also known as ‘Panja Masam’ or the period of scarcity. With the fields flooded, people do not have much work to do and are solely dependent on the grains stores during the previous harvest season. Due to the heavy rains they cannot move out of their houses to earn a living. Therefore to ward off the fury of Nature, people began reading Ramayana.

Ramayana Masam festival dates between 2016 & 2026

YearDate
2016Saturday, 16th of July
2017Monday, 17th of July
2018Tuesday, 17th of July
2019Wednesday, 17th of July
2020Thursday, 16th of July
2021Saturday, 17th of July
2022Sunday, 17th of July
2023Monday, 17th of July
2024Tuesday, 16th of July
2025Thursday, 17th of July
2026Friday, 17th of July

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