As the spring arrives and the sun starts warming up the days, the smell of ripe mangoes and beautiful flowers fill the year. The shades of yellow are scattered everywhere; it is the time to mark the onset of spring and New Year’s Day is celebrated by different cultures during the month of April across India. Talking about that the Malayalis are gearing up for one of their utmost favourite festival, Vishu which is celebrated with joy and splendour every year by the Mayalis. In Kerala the first day of the Malayalam month Medam is celebrated as Vishu 2018. Individuals will be celebrating Vishu on 14 April, 2018. The history, significance and celebration of Malayali New Year traces the culture that individuals follow in Kerala. The significance of the Vishu festival is that it marks the season of harvest and thus it indicates prosperity.
Vishu 2018 signifies the sun’s transit into the Meda Rassi (first solar month) and generally falls in the middle of April as per the Hindu calendar. Vishu means equal and it represents the celebration of the spring equinox.
Significance and History of Vishu 2018
The day of Vishu in the Malayali tradition signifies the sun’s transit into the Meda Raasi (first solar month). It is on this festival, that the day and the night are equal. This explains Vishuvam in Sanskrit which means equal night and day. It is historically believed that Lord Krishna was killed on this day and that is why this day is celebrated as the Vishu festival. Malayali Hindus worship Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna on the day and also visit temples to have a Vishukkani Kazhcha (that which is seen first on Vishu). The traditional belief is that one’s future is a function of what one experiences, that the new year will be better if one views auspicious joyful things first on Vishu. And that is why Malayalis spend the day preparing a setting, usually a tray of auspicious items which is the first thing they see when they wake up on this day.
How is Malayali New Year Celebrated?
On the morning of Vishu 2018, the individuals believe on performing Vishukkani, which literally means ‘first sight’. They look at the auspicious object as the first thing to see in the morning to ensure that the rest of the year is prosperous and peaceful. The items that are included in this ritual are the golden blossoms of the laburnum tree, money and silver. People again visit the Sabarimala Ayyappan Temple, Guruvayur Sri Krishna Temple and Kulathupuzha Sastha Temple. The bursting of firecrackers which is traditionally called as Padakkam is followed during this festival. The Malayalis also spend their day in preparing sadhya or feast which consists of a mix of salty, sweet, spicy and bitter food items.
Vishu 2018 is celebrated with much fervour by the people of Kerala. Again, the same festival is celebrated by different names across India; in Assam it is Bihu, in Punjab it is known as Baisakhi and in Tamil Nadu it is Puthandu. You can send these beautiful greetings and GIF images to wish your friends and family on Vishu 2018. So, get ready to celebrate New Year!