Astrological Relevance and Rituals of Ramayana Month
In Sanskrit the word Karkkidaka means cancer and it is the period when the Sun transits through Karka Raasi (Cancer Zodiac). Karkkidaka Samkranti/Karka Sankranti which marks the transition of Sun into Karka Raasi, also marks the end of Utharayana (northern transit of Sun) and the beginning of Dakshinayana (southern transit of Sun). Dakshinayana will last for next 6 months till Makara Sankranti and the nights are longer during this period.
In Vedic Astrology, Sun is regarded as ‘Pitru Karaka’. During the month Karkkidakam, the Sun is in its own constitution and on the New Moon Day of Karkkidakam, both Sun and Moon stay in the same house of the astrological chart. The Amavasi or New Moon Day of Karkkidakam is observed by the Hindus as Karkkidaka Vavu, a day to pay annual homage to the dead members of the family.
Geographical & Social Significances
The month of Karkkidakam falls in June-July period and is often marked by heavy rains. The South-West Monsoon will be in its full swing in Kerala which results in chilly weather, loss of crops, damages, diseases and deaths. The agrarian community of Kerala suffers from retarded production in crops and the people have to rely on the grains stored in the previous seasons. The continuous rains and flooded farmlands make it difficult for the people to go out and do works. Also, the torrential rain increases the spread of diseases. In order to resist the bad climate and diseases, people follow some special diets which improve their immunity.
For all these features, Karkkidakom is also referred as Panja Masam (Month of scarcity) and is considered inauspicious for special occasions such as marriage, house warming etc. Strong believers do not prefer this month to start any new ventures or conduct important functions. Land registrations and vehicle purchases will be less and the whole business will become dull. A general tendency can be seen among the people, to spend less and prepare for the heavy shopping and festivities in next month Chingam.