Vishu is one of the most significant festivals celebrated in South India. It marks the beginning of a new agricultural cycle in Kerala. Vishu is observed as a time for renewal, hope, and optimism as people welcome the New Year with open arms and pray for a prosperous year ahead. Vishu, which is also celebrated as a harvest festival, falls on the first day of the Malayalam month of ‘Medam’. As Vishu is the start of a new year, it also emphasizes the importance of reflection and renewal where one assesses their life and makes an amendment if necessary for betterment.
Special pujas take place on Vishu day in many temples including in Famous Guruvayur and Sabarimala. People in Kerala ushered in the Malayalam New Year, Vishu with colorful rituals, traditional fervour, and gaiety looking forward to a season of prosperity and progress. In the northern parts of the state, the day marked the beginning of the ‘Vishu Vilakku’ festival season in many temples.
Vishu 2023: Traditional Foods, Rituals, And Celebrations
On Vishu day, many Keralites wake up at dawn and take darshan at ‘Vishu Kani’ which is a collection of auspicious items (flowers, fruits, vegetables, rice, and a small statue of lord Krishna) along with a Nilavilaku, a lamb. For the Vishu Kani children with their eyes covered with hands are led from their beds towards it by elders. Eyes are opened when they reach the Vishu Kani and have a darshan. Another traditional practice on Vishu day is Vishu Kaineettam which is elders giving money to children and others. Vishu Sadhya, a sumptuous lunch with traditional Kerala dishes, is also one of the essentials.
Also read: Vishu 2023: Know Date, Significance And Rituals Of Malayalam New Year
Keeping with the tradition, elders followed the practice of presenting money, especially coins, as ‘Vishukkaineetam’ to youngsters in the family.
People in Kerala are seen shopping for the celebration of Vishu. In Kottayam, many people are seen collecting Lord Krishna’s statue, and flowers from the Konna tree for Vishu Kani. In the district most of the shops are filled with Lord Krishna statues, there is a wide variety of Krishna statues in shops like small Krishna, Blue Krishna, Krishna, and Radha.
Vishu 2023: Traditional Foods
Besides seasonal fruits, vegetables, and flowers, rice, gold ornaments, clothes, coins, and holy texts are arranged on a platter in front of the deity to be the first sight of people when they wake up on Vishu day.
The preparation of ‘Vishu Sadhya’, a sumptuous feast comprising ethnic delicacies made of seasonal produce like cucumber, mango, and jackfruit, was also a highlight of the Vishu celebrations in central and southern districts.
All major temples, including Lord Krishna’s at Guruvayur and Lord Ayyappa’s at Sabarimala in the state, witnessed a heavy rush of devotees in the early morning hours.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly VD Satheesan were among those who greeted people on the day. “Vishu greetings to everyone. Wishing you all a great year ahead,” Modi tweeted.
(With inputs from agencies)