Vishu celebration is one of the main celebration for we malayalis. On every 14th April every year we celebrate this festival. Not much Indians know about this festival is it is celebrated in Kerala and some parts of Karnataka. When Sri Lanka has their New Year, Punjab has their Baisakhi, Assam has their bihu and other Indian celebrate Ambedkar Jayanti, we malayalis have our Vishu celebration.
There are lot of things about Vishu which you need to experience to know the beauty of this festival. Do you wanna know what are they ?
But before that lets know what is Vishu all about.
What Vishu Celebration Means ?
When you mix Sri Lanka's new year and Punjab's baisakhi it becomes Vishu. That's how I see it - a combination of different festival. Vishu signifies prosperity and is festival of harvest.The importance of this festival is to have a right start. A good harvest brings in joy to the common people means their barns will be full and that means they are going to have a prosperous year ahead.
We pray Lord Krishna on this day because Lord Shri Krishna killed the demon Narakasura on this day. Hence Vishu is also celebration of victory for us.
Things You Need To Experience About Vishu
1. Vishu Kani
Vishu Kani is basically the first sight you see in the morning on this day so that your whole day begins with happiness and your whole year fills with joy and prosperity. This is my favorite ritual and most unique thing about this festival. Vishu kani basically include some offerings to Lord Krishna which is decorated with yellow flowers, fruits and other items.
Basically the eldest female member of the family (grandmother or mother) arranges the Vishu Kani the day before and will sleep in the puja room after she is finished and then, waking up during the auspicious hour of brahma muhurata (around 4-6 am) she will light the oil lamp and take in the auspicious sight of Lord Krishna.
Then she walk to the room where the rest of the family is sleeping and wake them up. Covering their eyes, she will then lead them too the puja room, where she will allow them to take in the auspicious sight. This how the day begins on Vishu.
After this you can sleep for some more time if you want too. Because it is too early to wake up if you are not a morning person like me.
2. Vishu Kodi
This is again my favorite part. Vishu Kodi means a new dress. Now you know why its my favorite part . As its a new beginning why to begin with old clothes. So everyone in family is gifted a new dress to wear on this auspicious day. Women basically wear set mundu which is a traditional Kerala saree (picture below).
The important aspect of every malayali festival is Sadya basically typical Kerala style meal. The feast known as Sadhya is consumed by all family members sitting together and a get together happens between family members. Sadhya is served on banana leaf which has some ayurvedic medicinal preparations. By serving hot food on a banana leaf, one could get a lot of those good stuff all through the leaf.
4. Vishu Kaineettam
This is one more part of festival which my favorite. The elder family members of family give money to the younger ones which is called Vishu Kaineetam as it is considered bring luck and prosperity. This is the time when all your elder family members and relatives become really useful. The more the member the more the money. This the time when the kids in the family can increase their pocket money instantly. If you are the youngest family member you are the luckiest 😀
5. Fire Crackers
In Kerala on the occasion of Vishu we light fire crackers more than the occasion of diwali. The whole family together and enjoy it and hence the bonding becomes stronger.
I think now you all know about Vishu like any other malayali. And hope you all find an opportunity to go to Kerala to celebrate Vishu and experience the vibe of it.