Keralites celebrate Vishu tomorrow

via Courtesy: published on April 14, 2011

Usually Vishu is celebrated all over Kerala on the first of the Medam masam (April 14) of the Malayalam Calendar. But this year it falls on 15th of April because the Surya Sankramana takes place late on April 14.

Many other states of India also celebrate their new year similarly, known in different names like Punjab celebrates Baisakhi, Tamil Nadu celebrates Puthandu, Assam celebrates Ronagali Bihu and Bengal celebrates Naba Barsha.

The highlight of the Vishu festival is Kanikanal early morning, Distribution of Vishukaineetam and the usual feast thereafter.

Vishukani – The Vishu day celebration begins with Vishukani. In the previous night of Vishu day, the eldest female member of the family arranges a vessel (urli) in which she systematically decorates, rice, kasavu mundu (traditional dress / Veshti of Kerala), gold and silver coins, a mirror – to see the image of Kani) cucumber, mango (mambazham), jackfruit, coconut, banana and Kanikonna (yellow flower known as Indian Laburnum) and place it in front of an idol of Lord Krishna.

On the Vishu Day the eldest of family gets up early at about 5.00 am during the time of Brahma Muhurthan & light up the lamp and gets a glimpse of the Kani for herself first and gets it ready for the other members of the family to see it first. In the morning one by one– all members of the family are waken up and with closed eyes brought towards Vishukani. They are made to sit in front of the Kani on a mat and then asked to open their eyes to see the auspicious sight of Kani. This is known as Kanikanal in Malayalam.

Vishukaineetam – The eldest male member of the family gives money (erstwhile it was given in shape of coins) to all the members. All members of the family accept it from the eldest as a symbol of 1st day blessing of the New Year. Due to modernization catching fast the so-called Vishukaineetam is given in the shape of valuable gift items also.

Vishu Sadya is usually served in the afternoon, with rice, sambar, rasam / morucurry, Aviyal, Poriyal, pickles, chips, bananas, kichadi / Pachadi, olan, Kalan and many more with sweet and delicious payasams and pradhamans.

Since the school & colleges remain under vocational holidays, children enjoy Vishu with full enthusiasm.

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