Vishu

Vishu is the new year day celebrated by the people of Kerala and the nearby regions. It is a festival of the Malayalis as well as the Tuluva Hindus. The day falls on or around 14th of April each year. A word which is often associated with the Vishu festival is that of the “Vishukanni.” While Kani means something that is first seen, Vishukanni implies something that is first seen on the occasion of Vishu. On this day, those celebrating, worship Lord Vishnu. The Puja room of the house is well-decorated on this day with theimage of Lord Vishnu, fruits, flowers, and various offerings to the almighty. The Puja is mostly performed by the eldest woman of the house and she sleeps in the Puja room itself. On the day, she wakes up at an auspicious time of early morning hours and is the first one to view the glorious site of the Vishukanni.

In the Malayali tradition, it is on this day that the sun moves into the Meda Raasi which is also known as the first solar month. On this day, the participants buy new clothes. This tradition of buying and wearing of new clothes is also known as the Puthukodi or the Vishukodi. The young ones seek the blessings of the elder family members who in turn give money to the younger ones to demonstrate their love and affection. People also indulge in charity work of their choice to celebrate the Vishu festival. In most of the other regions of Kerala, people often burn firecrackers to welcome the new year. Some of the special dishes that are prepared traditionally on the day of the Vishu are Vishu kanji, Thoran, as well as Vishu Katta. These dishes are often full of many different flavors which act as a reminder of the fact that the coming new year will be full of different types of experiences and one should be prepared for the same!

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