Mondays in the month of Karthika is observed as Karthika Somavara Vratam in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The fasting is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Karthika Masam 2014 in Kannada and Telugu calendars begins on October 24 and ends on November 22. Karthika Somavara Vratam 2014 dates are October 17, November 3, November 10, and November 17.
In Hinduism, Mondays are generally dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva. But the Mondays in the month of Shravan and Karthik are considered special by Lord Shiva devotees.
Somvar (Monday) gets its name from one of thousand names of Lord Shiva – Someshwaram. The crescent moon (Soma) on the matted locks of Shiva gives him the name Someshwaram.
It is believed that the moon observed Somavara Vratam to escape from the curse of Daksha and to get the blessings from Lord Shiva and a spot in His matted locks.
It must be noted that Karthik month in North India is generally dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Karthik month in Maharashtra and Gujarat is also similar to the calendars followed in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh but this special significance is not attributed to Mondays.
Monday fasting and worship of Lord Shiva is also observed in Tamil Nadu during Karthik month. Karthika Masam in Tamil Nadu begins in 2014 begins on November 17 and ends on December 15.
One who observes Somvar vrata would enjoy every pleasure in the world and after death that person would reach Kailasa (Salvation or Moksha or Shiva look).
Some of the basic rituals we should follow this month.
1. Should not eat non Vegetarian food for the whole month.
2. Do not eat Brinda, Onions and Garlic’s Food in Karthika Masam.
3. Must take meal only once per day for the 30 days,
4. If possible Feed Cows.
5. Follow this on auspicious days like Mondays, Karthika Poornima, Koti Somavara etc.
6. Devotees take ceremonial or spiritual bath everyday for the whole month (Including Hair).
7. Must light (deepam) every evening and evening do God Shiva Pooja?
8. Read or Listen Shiva Puranam Book (if possible) ever day evening.
9. Read one chapter in Karthika Puranam book every day.
10. Prepare prasadam on Karthika Poornima, Koti Somavara and remaining days you can even keep some fruit as prasadam