As the rainy season starts, the month of Karkidakam (similar to Aashad month according to Malayalan calender) starts in Kerala. In this month, a beautiful ritual of reciting the Ramayan in every Hindu home of Kerala is
observed for the whole month.
From the 16th of July onwards, the month of Karkidakam starts and the reciting of the whole Ramayan for the next 32 days is practised in all Hindu homes. This month is also called as the “Ramayan Month” in Kerala. The ritual starts with the family head lighting a traditional lamp on the first day and offering prayers with ten kinds of flowers in front of the coronation painting of Ram, Sita, along with his brothers, Hanuman, Ganesh, Shiv and Brahma. Then the reciting of Ramayan starts with Bala kand and continues every day in the morning and evening. For the next 32 days, it continues and ends on the last day with the reciting of the Yuddha Kand and a special puja is done to mark the coronation of Lord Ram as the King of Ayodhya. Besides these practices at home, Ramayan is recited in all temples of Kerala.
Many discourses, religious activities plays, competitions based on Ramayan are conducted and celebrated. Also, a pilgrimage is undertaken to the temples of Ram, Lakshman, Bharat and Shatrughn in the Kottayam and Thrissur districts called as “Nalambala Darshan”. This practise is been followed since thousands of years in Kerala as an important festivity.