Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 15: As the state is slowly coming out of the fear of the COVID-19 pandemic, Keralites on Friday celebrated Vishu, the harvest festival, with traditional fervour and gaiety wishing to have a season of prosperity, plenty and progress. The scare of the pandemic and lockdown curbs took the sheen out of the traditional festivals including Vishu in the last two years. While the Hindu families followed ancient customs and rituals as part of the Vishu celebrations, Christians thronged churches across the state in large numbers to attend special prayers and observed fast to mark Good Friday commemorating the sufferings and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Good Friday 2022 Date, Meaning, Rituals, Significance: All You Need To Know About the Day That Marks the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

It is rare that Vishu and Good Friday fall on the same day as this year. Adhering to tradition, people in Hindu homes woke up in the wee hours to see 'Vishukkani', the custom of looking at auspicious articles like rice, fruits, gold and flowers arranged in brass vessels, symbolising hope and prosperity.

Elders presented coins to children as part of the custom of ''Vishu kaineettam.'' In Malabar region in north Kerala, people ushered in Vishu by bursting crackers in the wee hours, a practice which is not that common in the southern parts. When Is Vishu 2022? Know Date, Significance of Vishu Kani and Sadhya, History and Celebrations Related to Kerala New Year.

The day also marked the beginning of ''Vishu Vilakku'' festival season in several temples in the Malabar region. A sumptuous feast called "Vishu Sadhya', comprising typical ethnic delicacies made of seasonal produce like cucumber, mango and jackfruit, was the highlight of the Vishu celebrations in central and southern districts. As the restrictions in connection with COVID have been lifted, major temples including the Sri Krishna temple in Guruvayur witnessed heavy rush of devotees on the day.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the prominent persons who greeted people on the occasion of Vishu. Meanwhile, Christians took out 'way of the cross' processions under the aegis of various parishes across the state, depicting the final hours of Christ. Bearing symbolic wooden crosses, devotees walked several kilometres commemorating the final moments of Christ. Special 'Good Friday' services were also held at all major churches.

Good Friday is followed by the celebration of Easter on Sunday that commemorates the resurrection of Christ.