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Vishu is one of the most popular Hindu festivals of Kerala and Karnataka region (Mangalore & Udupi districts). As per Gregorian calendar, Vishu is generally celebrated in the second week of April. This year, vishu will be celebrated on Monday, 15 April 2019. This lights and fireworks festival is celebrated in all parts of Kerala with full enthusiasm and fanfare. People decorate lights, burst firecrackers i.e. Vishupadakkam, buy new cloths i.e. Puthukodi and many more. The most interesting fact with this occasion is the tradition of giving money as blessings, which is called as Vishukkaineetam. The traditional food i.e. feast for this occasion is called as Sadya which consist equal proportions of salt, sweet, sour and the bitter items. This feast includes Mampazhappulissery, Veppampoorasam, Vishu kanji and Vishu katta.happy vishu

Importance of this festival in Kerala:

As per Malayalam Calendar, Vishu is traditionally celebrated as a New Year, and considered as a first day of the Zodiac Calendar. The sense of celebrating Vishu Kani was to bring luck and prosperity for the year starting from the Vishu Day Medam 1st but towards the end of last century AD, the corresponding month Chingam is considered as first month of the Malayalam Calendar just because of the great importance of Onam which usually comes in August or September months. As, Vishu was considered as the first day of the Malayalam Zodiac that’s why this day is considered as a perfect time to offer prayers and oblations to the Hindu gods.

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According to Indian astrological calculations, Vishu evinces the transition of sun into the Meda Raasi i.e. first zodiac sign and falls on the spring equinox. At the time of equinox, equal number of hours of daylight and darkness in a day. This equinox describes the origin of the word “Vishu” which means “equal” in Sanskrit. Vishu is also known as a harvest festival which is equally important and corresponding with the several other harvest festivals in India like Pongal and Vaisakhi.

How Kerala people celebrate this festival?

Vishukkani i.e. Vishu Sight, is considered as the most important event in the Vishu festival, which means “the first thing seen on the day of Vishu after waking up”. Basically Vishukkani consists of a formal arrangement of the auspicious articles which are intended to imply prosperity, and this arrangement includes:

  • Raw rice,
  • Fruits and Vegetables,
  • Betel leaves,
  • Arecanut,
  • Metal mirror,
  • Yellow flowers called konna (Cassia fistula),
  • Holy texts and coins,
  • Fresh lemon
  • Golden cucumber

These are arranged the night before Vishu, in a bell metal vessel which is commonly called as uruli in the prayer room of the house. Nilavilakku i.e. a lighted bell metal lamp is also placed next to them. On Vishu day, there is a custom is to wake up early in the morning and go to the prayer room with closed eyes so that you can see Vishukkani in the new season.  There is also one belief system related with this custom, according to the age-old belief of Malayalees, seeing Kani at morning on the Vishu Day is fortunate for the entire day and year. Due to this immense importance of Vishukkani, its preparations requires due care in order to get positive sight and wonderful year ahead. After seeing Vishukkani, chanting few verses of Hindu Holy book Ramayanam is also considered good for the whole year. Devotees can also visit temples like Sabarimala Ayyappan Temple or Guruvayur Sree Krishna temple to view ‘Vishukkani Kazhcha’ in the early hours of the day.

Vishu Sadya

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Though, Sadhya i.e. feast is an important part of all the Kerala festivals but during Vishu, Vishu Kanji, Vishu katta and Thoran are also important. Kanji is prepared with the rice, coconut milk and spices. Vishu katta is prepared from the freshly harvested rice powder and coconut milk and served with jaggery. Thoran is a side dish but prepared with the mandatory ingredients. Veppampoorasam i.e. a bitter preparation of neem and Mampazhappulissery i.e. a sour mango soup are other important Vishu delicacies.

Vishu Padakkam i.e. Crackers is another important part of Vishu celebrations. Throughout the day and night children enjoy with the firecrackers.

The tradition of buying of new clothes for this auspicious day is called Puthukodi or Vishukodi. Vishukkaineetam is a most favorite custom for the younger peoples as in this day there is a tradition of giving money in which elders give money to younger ones in the family with the objective of creating the sharing nature among the younger generation.

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Enjoy the New Year festival of Kerala called as Vishu. It is a day of joy and happiness that inspires us to celebrate humanity. The spirit of celebrating this festival is to create a vision that influences our thoughts and actions in a positive way.

Srees Tours Wishes you and your family a very happy Vishu. Let’s start this year with celebrating Vishu and stay blessed. Want to celebrate this hindu festival in Kerala? Book your Kerala festival tour package with us at lowest price.

Image Courtesy :  Flickr/Aroon Kalandy