Karkidakam & Sun – How are they related?

Karkidakam – the last month as per Malayalam calendar is monsoon season and the season of rejuvenation too. Malayalam calendar, also known as Kollavarsham is calculated as per the position of Earth on its revolution around the Sun, and the apparent position of the sun moving on the celestial sphere – Simply a solar calendar. It also owns 12 Zodiac signs similar to 12 sun signs of Gregorian calendar. So, one simple question; Karkidakam & Sun – How are they related to one another?

Earth revolves on its axis in 23.5 degree slanting position. For the same reason, from equator it appears as if sun travels to north for a while and then towards south in slanting position. It’s given the name – ecliptic and solstice. In Malayalam, it’s called ayanam consisting of Utharayanam (towards north) and Dakshinayanam (towards south) for six months each.

Karkidokam determines the path and tour of sun!

Sun’s travel towards north ends when it reaches Karkidaka Rekha in latitude. In Malayalam it’s called Uthara Ayanaantham (end of sun’s travel towards north). This particular day is significant as it has lengthiest daytime on earth. In Western regions such as Europe, America, and also in African countries, there are many festivals and celebrations. Then sun moves towards south which ends in Makara Rekha (in Malayalam month Makaram). This process forms a circle and continues every time which results in the change of season as well.

Sun’s travel towards north ends in Uthara Ayanaantham with Karkidaka Sankramanam. In modern science, there are slight variations. This year it was on June 21; that means Midhunam 7.

What is Karkidaka Rekha?

In English, Karkidaka Rekha is Tropic of Cancer, which lies at approximately 23.5 degrees in latitude. You can locate it easily with a globe, which shows clear lines of equator, longitude and latitude. Makara Rekha is called Tropic of Capricon. When sun reaches the end point of north at 23.5 degrees, it falls in straight line with star cluster with name, Karkidaka Raasi. That’s how it got the name Karkidaka Rekha.

You might be interested in reading a few more articles related to Karkidakam.

Go through the gallery to read a few more unique articles on traditions followed during holy Karkidakam month by Keralites just before the commence of Onam season. Here is the page link. Click on the images to read.


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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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