Vishu is a traditional Hindu festival celebrated mainly in the Indian state of Kerala, which marks the Malayali New Year. The festival falls in the month of Medam (April-May), according to the Malayalam calendar. The word Vishu means “equal” in Sanskrit, which symbolizes the equal division of day and night as the sun crosses the equator. It is a day of joy and prosperity for Malayalis around the world.
On the day of Vishu, Malayalis begin the day by viewing the “Vishukkani,” which is a special arrangement of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and other items placed in front of the deity of the house. The arrangement includes gold coins, a sacred text, a mirror, a lamp, and yellow flowers called “konna.” The Vishukkani is prepared by the eldest member of the family and is kept covered until the morning of Vishu. It is believed that viewing the Vishukkani first thing in the morning brings good luck and prosperity for the rest of the year.
Another important aspect of Vishu is the “Vishu Kaineettam,” which is a tradition where elders of the family give money to the younger members. The elders give money to the younger ones as a symbol of their blessings and to ensure their prosperity in the coming year. Children, in turn, offer their respects to elders by touching their feet as a sign of respect.
Apart from the Vishukkani and the Vishu Kaineettam, Vishu is also a time for feasting and festivities. Malayalis prepare special dishes like “vishu kanji” (rice porridge), “thoran” (a mixed vegetable dish), and “payasam” (a sweet dish made with milk and jaggery). The festival is also a time for people to visit their friends and relatives, exchange gifts, and enjoy the cultural programs and events organized by local communities.
In conclusion, Vishu is a festival that symbolizes new beginnings and prosperity. It is a time for families to come together and celebrate their traditions and culture. The festival is an essential part of the Malayali community, and it is celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm across the world.
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