Vishu 2014: Welcome the New Year
Vishu 2014 will be celebrated on the 14th April. The auspicious day of Vishu comes on the first day of the Medum month of the Malayalam calendar. Vishu holds a great significance for the people of Kerala as it is the New Year day. The term Vishu is derived from a Sanskrit word Vishua which means equal parts. On this day, the day and the night are of equal time duration. The day of Vishu comes when the season of spring is in its full bloom. It looks like the nature comes in synchrony with the mankind to welcome the New Year.
Vishu in Different States
India is a diverse country with a lot of richness in culture and tradition. Every festival is celebrated with a touch of regionalism into it. Vishu is celebrated with different names in different states of the country. In a few parts of Karnataka it is celebrated as Bisu. In Tamil Nadu, Vishu is observed as Puthandu and in Punjab it is famously known as Baisakhi.
Though the traditions and names may be different but they all teach us the same lesson of forgiveness and patience. These festivals encourage us to make a new beginning in life and forgive everyone including the self for the past mistakes.
The Celebrations of Vishu
It is believed that seeing auspicious things in the morning brings good luck and
prosperity in the coming year. Following this, all the people of Kerala follow the
tradition of Vishu Kani.
The most significant part of the celebration of Vishu involves the custom of Vishu Kani or Kani Kanal. The word Vishu Kani literally means the first thing to be seen on New Year morning.
Vishu Kani is an arrangement which is made a day previous to the Vishu. The woman of the house decorates the Puja room with all the items that are considered auspicious to be seen in the morning.
The major items comprising Vishu Kani are Raw rice, Kasava Mundu (a traditional cloth) lemon, yellow cucumber, coconut, banana betel leaves, arecanut, Metal mirror or Val-Kannadi, yellow flowers, holy text and gold & silver coins are placed in a traditional bowl called Urali.
The Urali is made of five metals that represent five elements of life - fire, water, air, earth and space. The Urali is kept in front of the deity and two standing oil lamps are lit there. Nilavilakku is a metal bell lamp which is placed beside the Urali. The ideal time for performing Vishu Kani is at the Brahma Muhurta that is the time between 4 and 6 in the morning. The head of the family is the first person to see the Vishu Kani. Following the head of the family, the entire family sees the auspicious Vishu Kani and welcomes the New Year in a traditional way.
After performing Vishu Kani in the morning, the entire family worships the Almighty. Then, the custom of Vishu Kaineetam is followed. As per this tradition the elders of the family give money to the younger members of the family.
It is believed that Vishu Kaineetam brings prosperity and success into the life of the children. On the day of Vishu people prepare special food which is feasted by the entire family. The special feast which is served on Vishu is called Sadya. A special dish Kanji is prepared using rice, coconut milk and spices. Veppampoorasam is another special dish which is prepared on Vishu. Without these two dishes the celebrations of the festival Vishu are not rendered complete. People wear new clothes and visit their relatives and friends to wish them a prosperous New Year.
Vishu to Bring Prosperity and Bloom
Vishu comes in the season of spring which is considered the King of all the seasons. While everything around us blooms, we should rejoice the fact that we are alive to see the New Year. Forgetting all the mistakes done in the past we should begin a new life. It is also a very good time to forget the past differences and forgive each other. Vishu teaches us that we should not live in the past.
With this happy note we conclude the article and hope that you found it informative. We wish all of you a Very Happy Vishu 2014.