Karadaiyan Nombu or Karadayan Nonbu is a major Tamil festival which is celebrated at the time on Meena Sankranti or Sankramana. It is celebrated at the moment when Tamil month Maasi ends and month Panguni starts. Karadai is the name of a unique Nivedyam prepared on this day and Nombu means Vratham or Upavasam.
It is believed that Savitri got her husband Satyavan back from Yama, the Lord of Death on the very same day. Due to this legend Karadaiyan Nombu is also known as Savithri Vratam. On Karadayan Nonbu day women worship Goddess Gowri and offer her Karadiyan Nombu Nivedyam. After Puja women tie the sacred yellow cotton thread known as Manjal Saradu or Nonbu Charadu for well-being of their husband.
Historically, married women pray to the hindu goddess Gowri and pray for longevity and well-being of their respective husbands. Women try to echo the devotion and love shown by Savitri for her husband Satyavan, as seen in the tale of Savitri and Satyavan, told in the epic Mahabharata. Married women fast that day. Before the auspicious time, women draw kolam infront of their pooja room, take bath and officiate the ceremony with the pooja. Typically, an offering made out of rice powder and jaggery is prepared and offered to the goddess. It is said that Savitri’s devotion towards the goddess Gowri gave her the strength and wisdom to win back her husband’s life from lord Yama, the Lord of death. She won the battle not by arms or ammunition, but by her clever arguments. When Yama offered her a wish, she prayed for a thousand sons. After he agreed, Savitri sought the life of her dead husband back to fulfill this wish.
Married women observe it for long lives of their husband while unmarried girls observe it to get ideal person as their husband. On this day married women and young girls wear yellow robes and pray to Hindu Goddesses for long life for their husband or to get ideal person as their husband in the future.
The fast for Karadayan Vritham is observed from sunrise on the transition day when God Surya moves from Kumbha Rashi to Meena Rashi. Fast breaking time for Savitri Nombu might fall any time between current day Sunrise to next day Sunrise depending on time of Meena Sankramana. Please note that duration of fast depends on local Sunrise and Sankramana moment and varies for different locations.
Manjal Saradu is tied at the moment when Masi Masam ends and Panguni Masam starts. The exact time to tie Manjal Saradu which is also the time of Meena Meena Sankramana might occur at any time during the day and many times it occurs after midnight which might not be convenient time to perform Puja rituals. However Puja for Karadi Nombu and other rituals are observed at the exact time when Meena Sankramana occurs.