Vishu, the Malayali New Year is here! As far as I remember, Vishu was my favourite festival thanks to the ‘Vishukaineetam’, which is the tradition of the elders giving money to the kids:) Now, that was something to look forward to!
Vishu falls on the 14th or 15th of April and the Bengali New Year, Poila Baisakh falls on the same day too. The Tamil New Year falls one day earlier or later than Vishu and Poila Baisakh. When we were in school, I used to wait for Vishu for 2 reasons – the Vishukaineetam and because Vishu was the only festival that I had in common with other friends:) Most of the other festivals like Holi, or Diwali had no correspodning Malayali version :(
Vishu is traditionally celebrated on the first day of the Medam month of the Malayalam Calendar. The day is supposed to start off with the ‘Vishu Kani’. We normally arrange it all the previousight n and are supposed to see the Vishu Kani the first thing in the morning! There is something wonderful about this – I can’t describe the feeling.. My mother used to bring us all to the Kani , blindfolded.. My daughter, unfortunately opened her eyes before I could get to her , but she loved the Kani all the same.
The Vishu Kani consists of all things auspicious – Rice, fresh linen, a tradional mirror, vilaku(lamp), raw mangoes, fruits,a particular kind of yellow flower.. all arranged in the puja room..I wish I could post a snap of our Kani – but this year, I was exceptionally unprepared – so I have just my version of ‘all things auspicious’ .
Traditionally, crackers are burst on Vishu in Kerala. I remember my Dad, recounting these stories.. Unfortunately, I have never had the fortune of celebrating Vishu in Kerala.. I hope to make a payasam at the very least today :)
Wishing all of you a very Happy Vishu, Poila Baisakh, or Baisakhi or just Happy New Year to all of you who are celebrating it today! Don’t you think ,we are all really lucky that we get to celebrate 2 new years in a single year!
PS : Apologies to all of you, for not responding to your comments on my previous posts. I just got back last night and am now down with fever :( So will respond to your comments and read all your posts over the next 2 days..