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Vishukkani - 2024

Vishukkani - 2024

Vishukkani – Significance & Preparation

Meaning of Vishu

Hindu Malayalis, also known as Tuluvas and Keralites, celebrate Vishu, the Malayalam New Year, with great enthusiasm in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and the Mahe district of Pondicherry. The celebration is marked by devotion to Lord Vishnu and His incarnation, Shri Krishna. Vishnu is revered as the God of Time in ancient beliefs, worshipped on the first day of the astronomical year, known as "Vishu." The Vishu Kani festival takes place on the first day of the Malayalam month of 'Meddam', which falls in April and May on the Gregorian calendar. The Sanskrit term "Vishu" means "equal," and it honours the Spring equinox and signifies the arrival of spring. The festival is known by various names across the nation, including Baisakhi in Punjab, Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, and Bihu in Assam.

Vishu Festival: Time & Date (2024)

The Vishu festival this year will take place on Sunday, April 14, 2024.           

The Origins Of Vishu 

Bhaskara Ravivarman, a devoted follower of Lord Vishnu and ruler of Kerala from AD 962 to AD 1021, discussed the existence of the "Chithirai Vishu" during Sthanu Ravi's administration (844-855). Scriptural accounts suggest Lord Krishna killed Narkasura on Vishu, while other references suggest Ravana lived a long time ago. Since over 1,178 years ago, Malayalis have celebrated Vishu with immense fervour and devotion, and the Malayalam community continues to observe these traditional celebrations throughout the country.

The Significance of Vishu in Astrology

Hindu astrology states that the planet Sun transits into Aries, sometimes referred to as the Mesha Rashi, on the day of Vishu. Farmers work in their fields and perform other agricultural tasks on this day.

Importance Of Vishu

Lord Vishnu and Lord Krishna are worshipped during the very powerful and auspicious Vishu festival. On this special day, family members join together to enjoy the Vishu. There are several components to the Vishu celebrations, including the Vishu Sadya, Vishu Padakkam, Vishu Kaineettam, Vishu Kani, and Vishu greetings. Now let's examine each of these rites in more detail.

The meaning of Vishu Kani

The Malayali people practise the ancient rite of Vishu Kani, or Vishukkani, at dawn on Vishnu morning. This involves seeing fortunate objects, believing that a person's vision on Vishu morning predicts wealth and fortune for the upcoming year. The night before, people light the Nilavilakku, a traditional lamp in Kerala, and place auspicious items in a bell-shaped metal Urli. The Vishu Kani is a picture symbolising wealth and good fortune, and the phrase "Vishu Kani" refers to the practice of seeing all auspicious objects as soon as one awakens from sleep at dawn or in the early hours of Vishu morning. The family's eldest woman organises and prepares the Vishu Kani, which includes various auspicious items and goods such as yellow KaniKonna flowers, coconut, raw rice grains, food grains, fresh lemons, areca nuts, betel nuts, Kanmashi (kajal), jackfruit, cotton dhoti, a holy book, coins, and currency notes.

On the day of Vishu, every family member wakes up but chooses not to open their eyes due to a long-standing custom. They move to the spot where the Vishu Kani is set up, and open their eyes to see the thoughtfully placed items for Vishu. Temples are also places where Vishu Kani is performed, and after the ceremony, the family gathers and one person speaks aloud passages from the Ramayana.

Reading Ramayana

People perform a sacred act of reciting words from the Hindu holy book, the Ramayana, after witnessing the Vishu Khani. According to Malayalis, a devotee's life in the future year is greatly influenced by the first page of the Ramayana that they open.

Vishu Sadhya

Big feasts are referred to as sadhya. The Vishu Kanji is a traditional breakfast that is prepared on the day of Vishu. Porridge is what kanji signifies. For this reason, rice is boiled in coconut milk and spiced for breakfast. An ancient celebration delicacy made according to all traditions is the Vishu Sadya. Kerala Malayalam house on the festival of Vishu. Lunch is traditionally prepared with Malayalam delicacies after breakfast. Vishu Sadya is hence done on Vishu.

Vishu Padakkam

'Padakkam' is the Malayalam word for firecrackers. On Vishu, children leave their homes after breakfast to set off firecrackers. As part of the custom, elders also join in the fun and go with the children.

Kaineettam Vishu
On the day of the Vishu festival, youngsters get gifts from their elders, both family and friends, according to a ritual known as Vishu Kaineetam. Although adults used to give children money coins as gifts, they now also give youngsters money notes as Vishu Kaineetam.

Vishu Greetings

People exchange Vishu greetings with friends and relatives. They greet one another with the phrase "Vishu Ashamsakal," which means "Greetings on Vishu."
Thus, Vishu has a long history and is quite important in the Southern region of the country, just like any other Indian holiday. This year, let's observe Vishu according to tradition and brighten everyone's day. Salutations from Vishu

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