Vishu, is a festival celebrated by us Hindus in Kerala. It is the Hindu New Year, and falls in the month of Medam (second week of April). We believe that Lord Sri Krishna killed the demon Narakasura on Vishu day. There is another belief that the demon king Ravana never allowed the Sun God (Lord Surya) to rise from the East. It was after his death on a Vishu day, the Sun God Surya started rising from the East.
Vishu is one of the biggest festivals of Kerala after Onam. Vishu starts with seeing the VishuKani, getting the Vishukaineetam, bursting crackers.We visit the temple and offer prayers and come back and start preparations for the Vishu Sadya.It is an elobarate affair with rice , curries and various other delicacies which I hope to put in another blog soon.
The Vishu Kani is one of the most important aspects of Vishu. We arrange the Vishu Kani the night before before going to bed. Vishu Kani, is an assortment of auspicious things that is viewed when one opens his eyes on the day of Vishu. Astamangalyam, eight auspicious things:
- A large ‘Uruli’ made of panchaloham.
- Betal Leaves (Tamboolam)
- Mixture of rice and turmeric (Akshatam)
- Kumkumam in a small container (Kumkumbacheppu)
- Holy Book- Bhagavat Gita (Grandham)
- Aranmula Kanandi or mirror (Darpanam)
- Kodi Mundu
- Betal Nut (Adakka)
The most important aspect of Vishu Kani is the Konna Poovu, a yellow colored flower which resembles gold coins. We use various fruits and vegetables like golden coloured Cucumber (Kani Vellari), small jack fruit, ripe yellow mangoes, 2 or more coconuts, bananas and other fresh fruits and vegetables.Metals like gold (ornaments or coins), silver coins,Kindi(A traditional vessel with tail for water and sometimes a nirapara is also used.
How to arrange.
In front of the idol of Lord Sri Krishna, the Uruli (those who don’t have an Uruli can use a silver tray or clean tray. The auspicious items and displayed on the tray or Uruli. A traditional Kerala Lamp called Nilavilakku is lit. We keep the erala Mundu in the shape of a fan in a Kindi and also place the aranmula kannadi with it. The metals and ornaments are placed on top of the vegetables and the Konna pOoovu is also decorated.
The eldest female lights the lamp between 4 and 5 am and wakes each one to see the Vishu Kani. After the Kani is seen, elders give Vishu Kaineetam to younger ones.
*image courtesy – Google images