Vishu falls on 14th April this year! What are your plans for this wonderful festival? It is certainly a time for great fun and enjoyment. The renowned Malayalam New Year denotes the completion of the spring equinox. The New Year is welcomed with great festivities such as lighting firecrackers, getting new clothes and ornaments and plenty of other events.
This astronomical New Year festival is celebrated by Hindus in Kerala and Tulunadu region at Karnataka. It is a festival of lights. Homes are decorated with lighting or burning diyas and everywhere there is waft of the most delicious foods including payasams. Children and even adults wait eagerly to receive the Vishu offering at this occasions. Many hand over gold or silver coins to adults and children alike. Vishukani is famous on this occasion. Adults lead the children by covering their eyes with hands and lead them before the image of Lord Krishna. Then they hand out gifts, money or silver and gold coins to them.
Vishu is celebrated in the month of Medam, the Malayalam month that usually falls in April. It is a time to prepare and enjoy delicious recipes made out of mangoes, coconuts, seasonal vegetables and fruits. It is a delightful time of persons in all age groups. Men, women, children and elders are well-dressed in crispy new traditional attires and they also tastefully decorate their homes with flowers. The small statues of Lord Krishna are adorned with garlands of flowers and used for Vishu kani. Malayalees across the globe dedicate this day to Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna and Lord Vishu are worshipped on this day. Vishu Kani is prepared on the previous night. At dawn all the members of the family are led to view the offering one after the other with their eyes closed. This practice is believed to bring good luck and prosperity to all the members of the family involved in the Kani. Everyone wakes up to see the kani and then they go on to enjoy bursting the firecrackers. Everyone wears the traditional attires and visit the temple to offer prayers.
Vishu is also a time for get together. All the members of the family residing in different places unite at their ancestral homes and enjoy the Vishu feast together. Many sweets and delicacies are distributed from homes to all dear ones in the neighbourhood. Vishu symbolises the beginning of the spring season and it is a true time of great joy.
Though many modern features are included in the lives of Malayalees especially youngsters, the spirit of Vishu still remains. Everyone reaches their ancestral homes sober, to enjoy the great festival together and experience the joy. It is a special time when the young ones in the family can meet the elders, spend time with them, gain blessing. Mouth-watering recipes with natural ingredients are a great specialty of Vishu, No one misses the home-cooked sumptuous lunch on Vishu. It is grand occasions such as Vishu that blindly tethers all the members of the family together and settles them in harmony. Youngsters take a day off from the rat race of urban lives and unite in their ancestral homes to celebrate the traditions and accept its legacy.