Malayalees celebrate Vishu
Malayalees across the world today celebrated 'Vishu', the first of 'Medam', the Malayalam New Year Day, with traditional fervour, looking forward to a year of prosperity.
People in Hindu homes woke up to witness 'Vishukkani' (auspicious sight), the main ritual of the festival, arranged in a large 'Uruli' ( a vessel made of bell-metal), by a 'Grantha' (palm-leaf manuscript), a gold ornament, a new cloth, some flowers from the 'Konna Tree' (cassia fistula), some coins in a silver cup, a split coconut, a cucumber, some mangoes and a jack-fruit.
Speciality of this festival was the preparation of Kani (Gift or lucky sight). Kani was prepared according as per the tradition.
The festival begins in the morning itself. On either side of the dish two burning lamps are placed with a chair facing it. Family members are taken blindfolded and later they view the 'Vishu Kani'.
It is believed that the first object one sees on the morning of Vishu determines the prosperity to be experienced in the coming year.
Later, the elders of the family give 'Vishukaineetam' (token amount of money) to family members and even in some temples in the state 'Vishukaineetam' is distributed.
There was a heavy rush of devotees at the famous Sree Krishna Temple at Guruvayur, Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala and Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple here to view the 'Vishukani' prepared there and to worship and pray for a prosperous New Year.
A feast or the 'sadya', is prepared by the womenfolk, and the whole family sits down to enjoy the 'vishu lunch' together.
In north and central Kerala, people greeted Vishu by bursting crackers.
(Posted on 15-04-2014)