hi, Karthika masam / Kartheeka masam is the eighth lunar month of Indian Astrology. It comes around November of Gregorian calender. Karthika masam is considered very sacred and there are many reasons for it:
Importance of Karthika masam
Lord Vishnu goes to sleep on Ashadha suddha ekadashi and wakes-up on Karthika suddha ekadashi. Lord Shiva killed Tripurasuras on Karthika pournami and protected the world. In this month Ganga (Godess of river Ganges) enters in to all rivers, canals, ponds and wells and makes them as pious as Ganga. Ayyappa deeksha is also taken in Karthika masam and is continued up to Makara Sankranthi (Jan 15th) Karthika puranam
The most important aspect of Karthika masam is hearing Karthika puranam. It is called as Karthika vratham. It normally includes the following rules:
Waking up early in Brahmi muhartham (4.00A.M) Taking bath in rivers or ponds remembering Ganga Shiva puja / Damodara (Vishnu) puja Lighting Akasha deepam on sun-set Understanding Karthika puranam
Kartheeka Deepam is Lord Muruga's festival.You have to fast on this day with includes taking head bath and doing pooja in the morning.You should not take any food which has salt in it. Instead you can take plenty of milk, sweets, fruits. Skip breakfast and lunch. In the evening, you will have to light lamps, offer pasadham (which has to be prepared in the evening)and once u see the moon you can eat a full meal. As per tradition, people eat only after seeing light in between the mountains of Tiruvannamalai. You will have to recite Kanda Shasthi Kavacham as a part of the pooja. People also burst crackers on this day in the evening.
Kaarthigai Deepam is a festival of lights, celebrated in the Tamil month of Kaarthigai. It is celebrated on the full moon day of the Kaarthigai month which coincides with Krithikai star. It is also considered as the extension of the Deepavali festival. In some houses, they double the number of lamps every day from the day of Deepavali and this way, they end up with a number of lamps on the day of Kaarthigai Deepam.
It is celebrated in a special manner in Thiruvannamalai. Lord Shiva asks Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu to find out the exact location of his head and his feet. Since Lord Shiva takes a gigantic form, they are not able to find out anywhere. Then Lord Shiva takes the form of a jyothi (light of fire) on the hill of Thiruvannamali. Therefore, this festival is also known as Annamalai Deepam. Here, a special torch is lighted on the zenith of the hill and it is believed that Lord Shiva's jothi will be visible on this day.
Lord Muruga took the form of six babies in a lake called "Saravana Poigai". On this day, all his six forms were united by Parvathi(his mother) and this way, he had six faces. Special poojas are performed to Lord Muruga.
On this day, people clean the houses. In the evening, they draw kolams (rangoli) in the front of the house and also place some lamps on it. The lamps(Agal) are placed in the pooja and lighted. Then the Deeparathana is done in which the lamps are moved to different places in the house. The lamps glow all over the streets on this day. The lamps are arranged near the doors and windows and also in the balconies. In this way, people of Tamil Nadu celebrate Kaarthigai Deepam for three days.
On the Karthika deepam day, people clean the houses. In the evening, they draw kolams (rangoli) in the front of the house and also place some lamps on it. The lamps are placed in the pooja and lighted. Then the Deeparathana is done in which the lamps are moved to different places in the house. The lamps glow all over the streets on this day. The lamps are arranged near the doors and windows and also in the balconies. In this way, people of South celebrate Kaarthika Deepam. I havenot heard of any vrats for this day!
i don't know about vratams but i can tell you onething that there are some shops selling several books on vratams and nomus. you may please visit those shops and get one. Orelse you may directly approach a pujari of the temple nearest to your house and asked about the vratam and he can tell you what you have to do or else he will certainly guide in getting it done.
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