Thursday, April 14, 2005

Vishu.... The New Year for Keralites...

Today is Vishu, the New Year for all the Keralites.


Since most of the people reading this donno what Vishu is, I thought I'll give some info about our festival Vishu.


Vishu falls on the first day of Malayalam month Medam (April), which is the astronomical New Year Day when the sun crosses the equator. This usually falls on 14 of April every year.

Vishu means the Vishukkani, Vishukaineettam, new clothes, crackers and the elaborate sadya (feast). Let me elaborate on each of these rituals.



It is believed that one's good fortune during the year would depend on his/her seeing some good things on Vishu morning and would determine the prosperity experienced in the coming year. As a result, we make it a point to see all the auspicious things as soon as we wake up.This is called Vishukkani.

The traditional Vishukkani is a beautiful arrangement of auspicious articles like raw rice, fresh linen, golden cucumber, jackfruit, betel leaves, arecanuts, metal mirror, the yellow flowers 'konna poovu' (cassia fistula), fruits, gold jewellery and a holy text and coins, all arranged in a bell metal vessel called 'uruli'. A lighted bell metal lamp called nilavilakku is also placed alongside.

All these arrangements are made by the women of the family on the previous night of Vishu.
Then, Precisely at bramhamuhurtham - the auspicious hour just before sunrise, members of the family are brought to this assemblage blindfolded. There is a belief that to catch a glimpse of the reflection of these signs of prosperity in the mirror at the crack of dawn, would bring prosperity to the individual.
On this day, we wear new clothes and go to the temple in the morning.

Konnappoo - will be in full bloom during this season


The highlight of the Vishu festival is Vishu Kaineettam. The oldest member of the family gives kaineettam to all those younger to him. The other elders in the family follow the same. Kaineettam has to be given to everyone coming to the house that day - friends, neighbours, servants, people working in the fields and even the newspaper boy.
This is what the youngsters would be eyeing for. Cash in this opportunity and encash as much as possible. :)

Vishu Sadhya


Crackers are what add zing to the Vishu celebrations. But what good is a festival without a lavish feast?
So, here comes the Sadhya (Feast). The sadya comprises of rice made of newly-harvested grain, dishes such as erisseri, olan, aviyal, kaalan, thoran, puli inji, pacchadi, and payasams such as paalada and ada pradhaman.
Payasams, mmmmmm, I love that especially ada pradhaman.

Am going home tomorrow night, so will catch up on all the delicacies that my mother made. I'll ask her to make them for me this weekend again. Infact, no need to ask, she'll make it for me :)

Hope you all got to know alot about Vishu.

Today is also Tamil New Year. So, I wish the people in Tamilnadu too "A Very Happy New Year..."

P.S: The writings here are not completely mine. I collected some articles from the web, compiled and edited those, added some points of mine, so that I can present what exactly the festival is about.


  1. Hi, Prasad..
    Nice to see your blog. Whatever may be the purpose behind your blog, the contents are rich as you have noted the 'sadhya' of vishu. Having a linking to the origin and historical propogation of vishu could have been of much more use specifically to the younger generation to know what is what of such clebrations and the morale behind such sociological events.

  2. Just stopped by to say hello and you have a really interesting blog.

  3. Very good blog about vishu. Very interesting style of writing ans content rich. Keep it up.

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