Karadaiyan Nombu or Savithri Vratam is one of the important festivals of Hindus across Tamil Nadu. In reality, Karadaiyan Nombu is a fasting day observed by married women and young girls in the name of Goddess Gowri / Sakthi and offers her Karadiyan Nombu naivedyam (food offered to god as part of a ritual) after performing pujas. Karadaiyan Nombu is observed on the last day of Tamil month Maasi.
In 2015, Karadaiyan Nombu was observed on March 14th
Karadaiyan Nombu also references the Meena Sankramanam which is nothing but the transition of Sun from Kumba rasi (Aquarius) to Meena rasi (Pisces). The theme of Karadaiyan Nombu or Savithri Vratam is that fasting is observed from early morning, and pujas are performed by married women to seek blessings for well-being of husband and family and by young girls perform fasting and pujas to seek good husband.
Typically, the fasting is broken at the exact time when Tamil month Maasi ends and the next Tamil Month Panguni starts. As a part of the Karadaiyan Nombu observation, married women and young girls tie a holy thread which is coated with turmeric (Manjal Kayiru / saradu).
It is widely believed that Savithri (daughter of King of Madra, Asvapati) brought back her husband Satyavan from the hands of Yama (god of death) on first day of Tamil month Panguni . Thus on the holy day Karadaiyan Nombu is observed across Tamil Nadu by married women for the welfare of their husbands and family. Karadaiyan Nombu is observed and celebrated across India by various names and traditions.
Karadai is the special dish prepared and offered to goddess as naivedhyam . The karadai has two different versions; one prepared with jaggery and it is called as vella adai and another version of karadai is called as uppu adai . The base ingredient of both the versions is rice.
It is sure that fasting and pujas done by married women and young girls during the day of Karadaiyan Nombu brings in eternal happiness to their family.