Vishu / The Harvest Festival of Kerala
Vishu is a festival that has lot of significance as you come across the southern side of India. It is celebrated from years to even this day.
Vishu is considered as harvest festival of Kerala. It is celebrated on the first day of the malayalam month medam. Usually,it falls on 14th April . In 2013 also the vishu falls on 14th April. The official malayalam new year starts from Chingam but it has no astronomical importance. But in the month of medam the sun crosses the equator and enters into Aries, Ashwini nakshatra and Zodiac new year is started and that day is celebrating as Vishu. So it is astronomically and astrologically important. It is considered as the symbol of good luck and prosperity.
It is celebrated in other parts of India also. In Orissa it is known as Vishu Sankranti, in Assam it is known as Bihu. Tamilnadu it is known as Puthendu.
Vishukkani is the important ritual on vishu festival day. As it is believed as the first day of malayalam new year the first sight should be glorious and prosperous one. The golden yellow coloured flower Konnapoo ( Cassia Fistula) is the auspicious flowers that blossoms during that time is used as decorative flower for it. The Golden yellow banana fruit, jackfruit, mango fruit etc are using for the vishukkani. Grains,coconut, Gold, mirror, Ramayanam or Bhagavatgita etc are set in a large uruli or circular vessel with picture of Lord Krishna in pooja room. Wake up early and lighting the deepam is the first thing that will do by the elder woman of the house. All members of the family will wake up and open the eyes in pooja room to see the peoperous sight that reflects on the mirror. This is known as Vishu Kanikanal. Lighting the deepam is the symbol of removing darkness and bringing light. All members pray for the bright and glorious new year .After taking bath elders of the house will distribute vishu kaineetam to the other members and dependents. Vishu sadya is very important on that day. People are wearing new clothes and bursting crackers to welcome the new year. Special poojas are going on in special temples like guruvayoor and sabarimala.
Vishu will always be a festival of great significance no matter the time passes by.