Vishu – the day of Vishukani and Vishu Kaineetam heralds the beginning of Malayalam New Year. Vishu falls on the first day in the Malayalam month of Medam.
2008 was my first Vishu after wedding, which meant that I was in charge of things. Was a bit unsure of lot of things pertaining to Vishukani but in the end I could do it as per the tradition and it was an enjoyable learning experience. I arranged all things required for Vishukani like mirror, raw rice, fruits, golden cucumber, and piece of white mundu, gold ornaments, few coins, flowers, coconut and idol of laddu Gopal aka Krishna. Since I could not get Konna flowers, I had to make do with an ensemble of different colorful flowers. I did all this the previous night.
I woke up early lit the lamp with coconut oil and woke up hubs. Walked him down with eyes closed till he saw Vishukani. The idea is to look at it first thing in the morning. It is considered auspicious. It is strongly believed by the people of Kerala that good things seen on the New Year day brings good luck for the entire year. People wear new clothes and fire crackers to mark the New Year day.
A grand feast called Sadya is prepared by the ladies of the house on Vishu. Being “the lady” of the house, I try to do full justice to the Sadya. The best past about the day is Vishu Kaineetam. The older people in the house give the younger lot some money or silver coins. I tried my luck by standing in front of hubs for Kaineetam but I always knew I was an overt optimist (sigh!)
Oh btw, it’s just not Vishu that is celebrated on 14th April every year. The same day Punjab celebrates Baisakhi, Tamil Nadu celebrates Puthandu, Assam celebrates Ronagali Bihu and Bengal celebrates Naba Barsha.
Herez wishing you all a happy and a prosperous new year