Vishu is a major festival celebrated in the Indian state of Kerala, primarily by the Malayali community. It usually falls in the month of April and marks the beginning of the traditional Malayalam New Year. Vishu is a significant cultural and religious festival in Kerala, celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy.

The festival of Vishu is associated with several customs and traditions. One of the main rituals is the “Vishukkani” or the first sight of the day. It involves setting up a tray with various items such as a golden cucumber, coconut, betel leaves, flowers, rice, and a mirror. This arrangement is prepared the night before Vishu and is kept in the prayer room. On the morning of Vishu, people wake up early and view the Vishukkani as the first thing they see. It is believed that viewing the Vishukkani brings good luck and prosperity for the year ahead.

Another important aspect of Vishu is the “Vishu Sadya,” a grand feast comprising a variety of delicious vegetarian dishes. The feast typically includes dishes like parippu (dal), sambar, avial, olan, thoran, pachadi, and payasam. It is a time for families to come together and enjoy a sumptuous meal.

Fireworks, known as “Vishu Kani,” are another highlight of the festival. People, especially children, burst firecrackers to add to the festive atmosphere. Cultural programs, traditional music, and dance performances are also organized as part of the Vishu celebrations.

One of the most exciting aspects of Vishu for children is receiving “Vishu Kaineettam,” which is a monetary gift given by elders as a symbol of blessings and good fortune. It is a traditional gesture of love and goodwill.

Vishu is also associated with the traditional art form of “Vishu Kaniyattam,” where performers dress up as deities and visit houses to bless the residents and entertain them with their lively performances.

Overall, Vishu is a festival that symbolizes hope, prosperity, and new beginnings. It is a time for families to come together, offer prayers, enjoy delicious food, and celebrate the spirit of togetherness. The festival embodies the rich cultural heritage and traditions of Kerala and holds a special place in the hearts of the Malayali community.

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