Sunday, April 15, 2001

Vishu

Vishu is a Malayalum festival held in the state of Kerala (and adjoining areas of Tamil Nadu) in Indian on the first day in the Malayalum month of Medam (April-May). Festival of Vishu is also known as the Malayalum New Year day.
Simmilarly this festival is celebrated in almost all the places in India by the Hindus but by the different names. In Assam this day is called Bihu, in Punjab Baisakhi and in Tamil Nadu Puthandu.

Vishu Kanni
The festival is marked with offerings to the divine called Vishukanni. The offerings consists of a ritual arrangement in the puja room of auspicious articles like rice,linen, cucumber, betel leaves, matal mirror, and coins in a bell metal vessel called uruli. A lighted bell metal lamp called nilavilakku is also placed alongside. This arrangement is completed by the women of the house during the previous night. On the day of Vishu, it’s a custom to wake up at dawn and go to the puja room with the eyes closed so that the first thing a person sees is the Vushukanni. TheVishukanni is later distributed among the poor.People wear new clothes for the occasion and the elders in the family distribute tokens of money to the children, servants and tenants. These tokens are called Vishukkaineetam and are usually in the form of coins. People carry out this custom believing that in this way, their children would be blessed with prosperity in the future.

Kannikonna is a special kind of yellow flower that grows during this season thru-out Kerala. These flowers grow in little bunches & look like little yellow bells hanging from the tree in bunches. It is also said to be the favorite flower of UnniKrishnan (Lord Krishna)

Vishu is considered to be a day of feasting, wherein the edibles consist of roughly equal proportions of salt, sweet, sour and bitter items.
A grand sadya (feast) is prepared by women of the house and the whole family sits together at lunch to relish it. Dishes are usually prepared from jackfruits, mangoes, pumpkins, and gourds besides other vegetables and fruits, which are in plenty at that time of the season. People also wear kodi vastram (new clothes) on this day. Pattakkam (fire crackers) are burst in the midst of dancing and merry to mark the day.
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