Vishu is a Malayalum festival held in the state of Kerala in Indian on the first day in the Malayalum month of Medam (April-May). Festival of Vishu is also known as the Malayalum New Year day and thus it becomes all the more important for the Malayalees regardless of their religion.
Vishu Traditions and Customs
Traditional people of Kerala celebrated Vishu with lot of joy and mirth. One very interesting custom of Vishu is Vishukani or Kani Kanal (first sight). Under this tradition there is a prescribed list of items that people see first thing on a Vishu morning. The custom stems from the strong belief of the people of Kerala that good things seen on the New Year day brings good luck for the entire year. Ladies of the house make preparation for Vishukani on a previous night. They would keep prescribed items including a cadjan leaf book, gold ornaments, fresh white cloth, a measure of rice or paddy, flowers of the Konna tree (Cussia fistula), halved jack fruits, halved coconuts and yellow cucumber in a big pot. Behind this pot is kept the bell metal mirror and a garlanded deity of Lord Krishna. Two standing oil lamps are also placed before the deity. Master of the house is the first person to take a look at auspicious things. Children are brought blind folded from their rooms to watch Vishukani. Many people in Kerala prefer to perform Vishukani in temples. Vishukani is offered to Gods and is later distributed amongst poor and needy.
Children are given gifts or small amount of cash on the Vishu Day in a belief that it ensures prosperity for children. This tradition is called Vishu Kaineetam.