Vishu indicates the sun’s transit within the Meda Raasi. Mainly, it falls in the centre of April in the Gregorian calendar and this year, it is on April 14. On the similar day, Hindus revel in the New Year in other parts of the nation, but it is called Baisakhi.
Vishu means “equal” and it shows the commemoration of the spring equinox. Malayali Hindus worship Lord Vishnu or Lord Krishna on the day, and also visits shrine to have a Vishukkani Kazhcha (viewing).
Vishu is noticed in the early hours of the day in the house of God such as Sabarimala Ayyappan shrines or Guruvayur Sree Krishna shrines or Kulathupuzha Sree BaalaShastha shrine.
Families get together and construct colorful propitious items for the Vishu festival. On the day it falls, family representative wakes up early and view those first.
Searching to view the golden blossoms of the laburnum tree, money, silver items and rice, Malayali Hindus revel in the festival. Children attire new clothes and fire crackers.
Food is a special inducement on Vishu with Sadya a mix of salty, sweet, sour and bitter items. Malayali women construct a setting called Vishukkani prolific with items such as rice, golden lemon, golden cucumber, coconut cuts open, jack fruit, kanmashi Kajal, betel leaves, arecanut, metal mirror, golden yellow Konna flowers, holy Hindu texts, coins or currency notes, oil lamp, and a picture of the Hindu God Vishnu.
The aged person in the house lights up the lamp at dawn and blindfolds every member to open their eyes to see the lamp first.
Vishu is trusting to have been commemorated since 844 AD when the area was beneath the reign of Sthanu Ravi. This originally means Vishu has been commemorated by Malayalis each year for the past 1,173 years. The Sun is said to rise linearly from the East on Vishu.
On Vishu, Lord Vishnu and his manifestation, Lord Shri Krishna are worshipped. Lord Vishnu is seen as the God of Time and since Vishu marks the first day of the planetary year, people pray to Lord Vishnu.
Shri Krishna, Lord Vishnu’s eighth manifestation, is said to have killed Narakasura on the day of Vishu. This could be the cause for people costume up their kids as Krishna and keeping Krishna idols in the Vishu kani.
Another myth has it that it was only later Lord Ram killed Raavan, in a Vishu day, that the Sun had the bravery to rise from the East.
Vishu is the first day of the Malayalam calendar and is the call of a New Year in Kerala and the neighbouring areas of Southern India. This day is commemorated with much formal splendor between all family members, relatives and friends and is marked by feasting and burning of fire crackers.
When is Vishu celebrated?
Vishu is the first day of the local calendar and is the starting with Meda Rashi, the first zodiac sign. It indicates the equinox following to the solar calendar and falls normally in the second week of April according to the English calendar.
Spiritual Significance of Vishu
This day of Vishu is the most main day in a Keralite’s life. It marks the starting of new hopes and expectation and is commemorated widely all across the state. People take a lot of care in fulfilling the rituals so as to bring opulence and success in the coming year ahead.
Vishu in Kerala
Vishu Fete harbinger the starting the Malayalese New Year and is commemorated in a huge way in the state of Kerala and the following sector of Tamil Nadu. Vishu falls on the first day in the Malayalam month of Medam.
As per the Gregorian Calendar Vishu falls on the 14 April, the similar day when Punjab commemorate Baisakhi, Tamil Nadu commemorates Puthandu, Assam commemorate Ronagali Bihu and Bengal commemorate Naba Barsha. Favourable day of Vishu marks the Sun’s transit to the prognostication Mesha Raasi as per Indian horoscope calculations.
Vishu Traditions and Customs
Traditional people of Kerala commemorate Vishu with lot of joy and mirth. One very gripping custom of Vishu is Vishukani or Kani Kanal. Beneath this tradition, there is a recommended list of items that people see first thing on a Vishu morning.
The custom stems from the powerful trust of the people of Kerala that good item seen on the New Year day carries good luck for the whole year. Ladies of the house make planning for Vishukani on a previous night.
They would place recommended items, adding a gold ornaments, an estimate of rice, flowers of the Konna tree, halved jack fruits and yellow cucumber in a huge pot. Backside this pot is kept the bell metal mirror and a garlanded deity of Lord Krishna.
Two standing oil lamps are also put before the deity. Master of the house is the first person to take a look at favourable things. Children are brought blind folded from their rooms to watch Vishukani. Various people in Kerala prefer to execute Vishukani in temples. Vishukani is offered to Gods and is later apportion amongst poor and needy.
Children are given presets or small amount of cash on the Vishu Day in a trust that it ensures opulence for children. This folklore is called Vishu Kaineetam.
To commemorate the favourable festival of Pooram Vishu people of Kerala costume kodi vastram. Patassu are also explodes to mark the New Year day. Another beautiful feature of the festival is the grand sadya construct by the ladies of the house.
Particular dishes are made using jackfruits, mangoes, pumpkins and gourd besides other seasonal vegetables and fruits.
Especial feature of a Vishu meal is that the food items include of roughly equal quantity of salty, sweet, sour and bitter items. Popular feast dishes involve ‘Veppampoorasam’ (a bitter preparation of neem) and ‘Mampazhapachadi’ (a sour mango soup).
In the small town of Kerala, young men and women dress up as the ‘chozhi’ by wearing a skirt of dried banana leaves and masks on their countenance. These performers would then move from house to house and collect prize for their performances. The money gathered by them is spent in Vishuwela or the New Year Fairs.