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Vishu; the yellow festival of Kerala

Updated on June 21, 2015
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“Konna” flowers of Kerala have blossomed. These yellow flowers shine gold when sun rays are also intense. This reminds Keralites that Medam (April) month is back to celebrate Vishu in all its richness.

It marks the New Year in the Malayalam calendar (regional) called ‘Kollavarsha’. When sun transits into Meda raasi (first zodiac sign), with respect to Indian astrology, Vishu arrives. This festival is celebrated with much fanfare and zest all over Kerala. The yellow shower tree flowers, Cassia fistula presents a mind-blowing horizon during this occasion.

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Vishukani in my home in Mumbai-2012Vishukani-2013
Vishukani in my home in Mumbai-2012
Vishukani in my home in Mumbai-2012 | Source
Vishukani-2013
Vishukani-2013 | Source

Vishu Kani

This is what is seen first after waking-up on the day of Vishu. It is believed that the ‘Kani’ you see on this day has great influence over the entire year. The eldest lady of a family arranges ‘Vishukani’ which is an abundant display of green vegetables, fruits, grains, gold and coins on the previous night of Vishu. Betel leaves with arecanut also form a part. A garlanded mirror is kept on a bell metal vessel called ‘Uruli’ and a traditional lamp is lit in front of these. A bunch of konnapoo’ is another constituent of this display as a new-year wish. The ‘Kani’ is set in the prayer room as the entire panorama beside Gods looks divine and great.

God ‘Vishnu’ is most associated with this holy day. He is the ‘Kaalapurusha’ or God of Time in Hindu beliefs. As Zodiac New Year starts on ‘Vishu’, devotees make oblations to god Vishnu for his blessings.

As mangoes and jackfruits fill the trees during this season, each and every Hindu of Kerala try to include them in the ‘kani’. On the day of Vishu, parents of the household wake-up early, closing their eyes with hands try to reach “Vishukani” to get the first sight of the season. A great ‘Vishukani’ can abound life with affluence and prosperity in the new year. Then they wake-up their children, blindfold and guide them to go and see the ‘Kani’ in the prayer room. After seeing Kani, children can take the coins as part of the ritual.

Vishukaineettam

This is another tradition associated with the festival Vishu. The elders of the house gift money to children and servants on this auspicious occasion. Children wait for this occasion to come as they can buy their wish list items with the money they get. ‘Kaineettam’ need not have to be in the form of money, things also can be gifted as ‘Kaineettam’.

Vishu kanikonnapoo

Vishu celebrations


Vishu mornings are filled with the sounds of firecrackers and songs. The traditional song “Chethi mandaram thulasi pichaka malakal charthi guruvayoorappa ninne kani kanenam” is sung by the elders of the household as part of the celebrations. Wearing new dresses, people go to temples, offer prayers and do ‘Poojas’. It is believed that visiting ‘Guruvayoor temple’ or ‘Sabarimala’ in the early hours of Vishu day is the best ‘Vishukani’ one can ever get.

Vishu Sadhya is the next item. This feast consists of all the traditional cuisines in which ‘Mampazhapulissery’ and ‘thoran’ are special dishes. Including all the vegetables, Sadhya is arranged with much enthusiasm in Keralites’ homes.

Even if we stay far from our native place Kerala, we celebrate Vishu here in Mumbai with the same interest that we used to have once. We have a ‘Vishu’ market that is open one week prior to this revered day. We would arrange for all those essential items and make a wonderful vista of ‘Vishukani’.

“Happy Vishu"!

Do you celebrate Vishu in all its richness?

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© 2012 Radhika Sreekanth

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    • NP.QUEEN profile image

      NP.QUEEN 3 years ago from Dubai

      Yes really.

      The colour yellow, is the colour of prosperity.

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 3 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks prasadjain for making such an engaging comment. This song is the popular song on Lord Krishna, sung to celebrate Vishu.

    • prasadjain profile image

      Dr.S.P.PADMA PRASAD 3 years ago from Tumkur

      A well researched beautiful article with useful information. The video clipping attached, has a melodious and meaningful devotional song on Krishna.

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thank you so much a2aoptima for such a great appreciation!

      When a reader takes the time to comment on our hubs, acknowledging them is our manners. Thanks for wishing me for a better future.

    • a2aoptima profile image

      a2aoptima 4 years ago from Bangalore, Karnataka

      Outstanding hub. Liked it a lot.

      Another thing I liked is your level of engagement with your reader. You have actually replied to every comment - that's great. No doubt you have won so many accolades. I am sure you'll win more.

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks Sunil for the nice compliment. Each festival has got its own specialties that we love them.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 4 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Hi,

      So nice to see your contents on Vishu, my most favourite festival. Rather than Onam I love it. Crackers, Konna, Vishukani, everything is so special about vishu. Thank you for such a nice write up.

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks Nell for stopping by and leaving a comment. This festival is really wonderful.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      This sounds like a wonderful festival, and the flowers were beautiful. great information on something I knew nothing about, thanks!

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      @Anamika S

      Glad that you love these beautiful kanikonna flowers. Thanks for commenting.

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S 4 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      I love the kanikonna flowers. They are beautiful!

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks jainismus for stopping by and making a nice compliment.

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 4 years ago from Pune, India

      radhikasree,

      Interesting information.

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Hi Peggy, I'm delighted to hear that you liked the beautiful Konna flowers. It is a divine festival meant to make everyone rich. Thanks for the votes and rate.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Those "Konna" flowers of Kerala are so beautiful. Yellow shower tree is a good name for it! I have never seen them prior to the photo in this hub of yours. Your festival sounds like it is a lot of fun for kids and adults alike. Thanks for telling us about this delightful day. Voted up and interesting.

    • profile image

      hi friends 4 years ago

      well done. your hubs are going up smootha and informative. Keep it up.

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Great to hear that you like 'konna poovu'. Their beauty and color is associated with the richness we experience in our life. Thank you sofs for Vishu wishes and I too wish you the same.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 4 years ago

      The amaltas or the konna puvus are my absolute favorites..I love picturing them whenever I can. Vishu kaineettam is the dream of every child.. my sons were pretty rich this Vishu.. Happy Vishu to you :) Bleated though ;)

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks hi friends for the good comment.

    • profile image

      hi friends 4 years ago

      your new hub is good

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      @anusujith

      Sorry to hear that your grandma is no more. May her soul rest in peace and may my Vishukani bring you lots of cheers and wonderful moments in this new year. Thanks for commenting.

    • anusujith profile image

      Anoop Aravind A 4 years ago from Nilambur, Kerala, India

      Due to my Grandma passed away we had no Vishu in year. With her memories I'm seeing your vishukani. Thank you very much for sharing this.

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks NP.QUEEN for stopping by and leaving a comment. Glad that you liked it.

    • NP.QUEEN profile image

      NP.QUEEN 4 years ago from Dubai

      Well done radhikasree...Thanks for sharing

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks hi friend for the nice comment.

    • hi friend profile image

      hi friend 4 years ago from India

      nice and ineresting hubpage

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Yes rebeccamealey, these flowers are really awesome. Their rich golden color brings light and prosperity in the new year. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I have certainly learned something new. The Kerala flowers look awesome!

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