Karkkidaka Vavu Bali, the ritual performed for dead ancestors, began early morning with thousands of people offering Balitharpan at various temples across the Kerala.
Pilgrims performing rituals arrived as early as 4 am. Men, women and children offer Bali to the ancestors.
Some of Kerala’s famous temples such as Parasurama Temple in Thiruvallam, River Periyar at Aluva, Bharathapuzha at Thirunavaya and Kozhikode beach all witnessed heavy rush in morning hours. ‘Bali’ performed on Amavasi day in Karkidakam month is considered highly auspicious ‘and it is believed that souls of the dead are pacified easily.
Kerala government offered special services to pilgrims by providing arrangements for water for drinking as well as for devotees to clean up etc.
The health wing of the local bodies cleaned up the temple premises especially the area for Bali offerings. Kerala state electricity board made operational all streetlights in the area. Parking facilities were made available and CCTVs operational.
According to Hindu custom in Kerala, if a member in the family dies, the immediate family members are expected to perform Bali for the moksha or salvation of the departed souls.
The person who performs Bali carry rice or food made of rice one day before the ritual. This is called Orikkal (meaning once). Offerings made on banana leaves are then immersed in the sea water.
Like Vavu Bali, Tamil Nadu too is marking Aadi Amavasi in memory of their lost loved ones.