Vishu

Vishu

Vishu is a Hindu festival primarily celebrated in the Indian state of Kerala, which marks the beginning of the new year. It is also celebrated as Bisu in Tulunadu regions like the Kasargod district of Kerala, Mangalore and Udupi district of Karnataka, India. Vishu signifies the Hindu New Year and falls on the month of

Vishu is a Hindu festival primarily celebrated in the Indian state of Kerala, which marks the beginning of the new year. It is also celebrated as Bisu in Tulunadu regions like the Kasargod district of Kerala, Mangalore and Udupi district of Karnataka, India. Vishu signifies the Hindu New Year and falls on the month of Medam in the Malayalam calendar, usually in the second week of April in the Gregorian calendar.

Vishu is celebrated with much fanfare and vigour in all parts of Kerala by Hindus. It is considered a festival of light and fireworks, and decorating lights and bursting of firecrackers (Vishupadakkam) is part of the celebration. Other elements of Vishu include buying of new clothes (Puthukodi) for the occasion, the tradition of giving money called Vishukkaineetam , and the Vishu feast or Sadya, which consist of equal proportions of salty, sweet, sour and bitter items. Feast items include Veppampoorasam, Mampazhappulissery, Vishu kanji and Vishu katta .

The most important event in Vishu is the Vishukkani, which literally means “the first thing seen on the day of Vishu after waking up”. The Vishukkani consists of a ritual arrangement of auspicious articles intended to signify prosperity, including rice, fruits and vegetables, betel leaves, arecanut, metal mirror, yellow flowers called konna (Cassia fistula), holy texts and coins, all arranged around lord Krishna in an ambience lit by nilavilakku or tookkuvilakku (traditional oil lamps) usually in the prayer room of the house. This is arranged the night before Vishu and is the first sight seen on Vishu. On Vishu, devotees often visit temples like Sabarimala Ayyappan Temple or Guruvayur Sree Krishna temple to have a ‘Vishukkani Kazhcha’ (viewing) in the early hours of the day.

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