By Vatsala Krishnakumar
Vishu shares the spirit of all similar spring festivals like Baisakhi, Gudi Padwa, Ugadi or Bihu - the spirit of hope and expectation of prosperity.

Vishu is the Malayalee New Year which falls on the 14th of April. It marks the first day in the first month of Medam of the Malayalam calendar. The day begins with the ‘Vishukkani’. This is a traditional arrangement of articles like Konna puvva (yellow flowers botanically named Cassia fistula), Valkannadi (metal mirror), seasonal fruits and vegetables like jackfruit, mangoes, vellarikkya (golden gourd), raw rice, coconuts broken into halves used as lamps, golden ornaments, silver coins, ashtamangalyam (set of items used for daily pooja), and grantham (palm leaf manuscript) in a traditional vessel called uruli. The Kkani is viewed by every member of the family in the light of the nilavilakku, the traditional lamp, at the break of dawn. This ritual is believed to bring prosperity and happiness in the New Year.

After this the children eagerly await the Vishukkaineetam when the elders of the family distribute money to the younger ones. This is done to bless them with prosperity in the New Year. While children burst crackers, the women of the house make arrangements for the afternoon Saddya or the meal. The Vishusaddya is not as elaborate as the Onamsaddya. The dishes are made from the seasonal fruits and vegetables and comprise mainly of Ollan (made with pumpkin and Gourd in coconut milk), Chakka Erisseri (made with jackfruit) and the Mangakoottan (a sweet stew made with mango) and followed by the payasam (kheer). The people visit the temples to see the Kkani arranged in the temple and go to the Velas or fairs arranged on this day and indulge in a lot of merrymaking.

  Bhavan's Books   Periodicals   Our Websites   Bhavan's (H.O), Mumbai
Online Bookstore
Locate A Store
Book Enquiry
Bhavan's Journal
Bhavan's Navneet
Navneet Samarpan (Gujarati)
Bharatiya Vidya
Astrological Journal
Gandhi Institute Website
Bhavans Kala Kendra
Bharatiya Sangeet & Nartan Shikhsapeeth
Jyotish Bharati
Bhavan's Library
Sanskrit Studies
Forthcoming Events
--: Bhavan - Chowpatty
--: Bhavan - Andheri