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Vavubali - Propitiating the departed souls

Vavubali, a traditional Hindu ritual to appease the souls of the dead relatives, is observed in the first full moon day of the Malayalam month Karkitakam.

It is believed that the “bali” (sacrifice) that is offered to the ancestors will bring good fortunes to the living ones. On the auspicious day of Karkadaka Vavu, thousands flock at sacred water bodies to make offerings. The ritual had many a ceremony attached to it including an immersion.

The major Theertha ghatas in Kerala where vavubali can be offered are Thiruvallam and Varkala in Thiruvananthapuram, the Karthikappalli beach in Alappuzha, the Sivaratri Manappuram on the banks river Periyar in Aluva, Eranakulam, the banks of River Bharathapuzha in Thiruvilwamala, Thrissur etc.