Vishu, Kerala’s traditional New Year festival, holds great cultural and traditional significance and is celebrated worldwide with great enthusiasm and excitement by Malayalis all around the world. Revered for its deep customs and traditions as well as unique celebrations, Vishu marks when the sun enters Aries zodiac sign on April 14th; symbolising optimism, prosperity and new beginnings! A significant spiritual event every year; let’s discover Vishu’s deep traditions as well as unique celebrations that make this an eventful festival!
Vishu Traditions and Rituals of Vishu
Vishu celebrations have already started and preparations for Vishu will soon commence. Homes in Kerala undergo an intensive cleaning session before Vishu festival to bring about a renewed sense of renewal and to welcome in the New Year with great excitement. In addition, homes are decorated with stunning flower arrangements for added celebration.
Vishukkani- The First Time
Vishukkani (translated “the initial sight”) is an integral component of Vishu celebrations, taking place the evening prior to Vishu in prayer rooms throughout India and Southeast Asia. An “urali,” composed of auspicious items such as gold betel leaves, cucumbers, rice grains, coins and mirrors that symbolize prosperity are placed inside prayer rooms overnight for maximum blessings and prosperity for 2019. When people awake on Vishu morning it will be the first thing they see – believed to bring luck throughout 2019.
Vishu Kaineettam: Honoring Tradition
Vishu’s traditional custom of giving and accepting “Vishu Kaineettam” gifts is one of its central elements, providing elder members of the family an opportunity to show their affection towards younger family members while strengthening family ties and creating joyous occasions! Kaineettam gifts can bring both parties involved joyous experiences!
Vishu Sadya in Kerala, known for its exquisite dining experiences, offers an incredible feast. Served on banana leaves and featuring an array of vegetarian meals such as Avial Sambar Olan Payasam Pachadi Olan Vishu Sadya offers an incredible voyage into a world of flavors and textures!
Festivities and Cultural Celebrations
Thrissur Pooram: An amazing spectacle
Vishu is usually celebrated among family and close friends, but there are numerous public celebrations associated with this festival as well. One such grand public celebration, called Thrissur Pooram at Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur is one such instance that attracts large audiences; here two temple groups come together with elaborately dressed elephants and drumming performances that create two amazing groups! Finally, fireworks from this spectacular spectacle illuminate this incredible show for even further delight!
Puli Kali the Play of Tigers
Vishu presents yet another captivating show in Puli Kali, commonly referred to as “the playing of the tigers.” At this captivating performance artists take on the appearance of tigers or hunters while showcasing their talents through energetic dance moves and beats beats – delighting audience members while adding an original touch to celebrations of holidays.
Vishu Kaniyankal Cultural Events
Vishu is not just a celebration of traditions and customs; it offers an abundance of cultural events from classical dance styles such as Mohiniyattam and Carnatic performances to exciting games like tug-of-wars and boat races that add competition and fun.
Vishu Celebrations Beyond Kerala in Other States
Vishu is an important festival that not only exists in Kerala but is celebrated worldwide. Tamil Nadu observes it under the name Puthandu while Karnataka celebrates it under Ugadi. Both of these festivities feature customs such as decorating Kanis with flowers and offering prayers of prosperity to ensure success in their respective locales.
Vishu Celebrated Globally
Thanks to Malayali diaspora’s global reach, Vishu is celebrated around the globe with great enthusiasm by various communities worldwide. Gulf nations that host large populations of Malayalis host large community celebrations featuring traditional celebrations and cultural events to commemorate Vishu Day; similarly in countries like USA and UK many Malayali communities gather together on Vishu Day for celebration and keep cultural heritage alive.
Vishu Festival is more than just a cultural celebration – it also highlights the spirit of unity within families, communities, and friendship groups. Through customs, traditions, rituals associated with Vishu that symbolize gratitude, hope and fresh starts it helps preserve Kerala’s rich cultural heritage and strengthens its significance for future generations despite any disparate identities.
Vishu brings us all joy, and we wish all a very joyful celebration! Happy Vishu to all!
Q What is the history behind Vishu Festival?
Answer: Vishu can be traced back hundreds of years in Kerala culture and may have begun with Chera Dynasty of Kerala’s rule as one of its oldest ruling families and their rituals and customs, which became part of culture and society there.
Q Why does Vishu Kani find this important?
A: Vishu Kani (the “First Sight of Vishu Morning”) is believed to bring luck, prosperity and luck in the coming year. Spending time around auspicious objects such as rice or gold coins as well as fruits or flowers will ensure this year will bring great fortune and success for everyone involved.
Q: How can those outside Kerala observe Vishu?
A: Malayali people celebrate Vishu with great gusto across America and worldwide, adhering to traditional rituals and customs to maintain a sense of community identity and maintain belonging.
Q Is Vishu Festival only applicable to Hindus?
A: No, Vishu is celebrated by people of various faiths – Hindus, Christians and Muslims all together in Kerala celebrate it together as part of an inclusive festival that fosters community spirit.
Q What dishes can I find at Vishu Sadya?
At Vishu Sadya restaurant, guests can indulge in an assortment of delectable cuisine – rice sambar, avial and the signature banana leaf-made Thoran Olan Payasam being among a few!
Q What is the length of Vishu Festival?
A: Vishu celebrations typically last one day, although family gatherings and cultural activities often extend the celebration beyond this duration.