தாயென்று கும்பிடடி பாப்பா
Vishu Festival 2016 in Kerala
Vishu is one of the most important and unique Malayalam Hindu Festival celebrated in Kerala, India. Vishu Festival is celebrated as the astronomical or Zodiac New Year by Malayalis (Malayalam speaking people) all over the world. The festival of Vishu is observed on the first day of the Malayalam month of Medam (April - May) and is also regarded as the harvest festival of Kerala. The major attractions of Vishu festival is the Vishukani, Vishukaineetam and Vishubhalam. The date of Vishu festival is on 14 April 2016, Thursday.
Observing Vishu Rituals
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The arrangement for Vishu starts by preparing Vishukkani the previous night before Vishu. On the Vishu day, the custom is to wake up early before sunrise in the morning and proceed towards the puja room with closed eyes and the see the Vishukani or Vishu Kani first. This ritual is called the Kani Kanal or Kanikanal. It is believed that the fortune of the New Year depends on the first thing one sees on the Vishu day. So people prepare the Vishukani for Kani Kanal with much importance so as to bring in another year of prosperity.
How to prepare Vishu Kani
Vishu Kani is usually prepared by the eldest female member of the family. The Vishukani is exhibited in a circular bell-metal vessel known as ‘Urali’ or 'Urule'. Raw rice is put in it and over it a beautifully folded Kasavu Mundu (traditional Kerala cloth) will be placed. The Urali will then be decorated with a golden coloured cucumber, one coconut broken in to 2 equal pieces, some gold coins, mango, banana, jackfruit, and the beautiful Kani Konna or Kanikonna (cassia fistula) flower which blossoms especially for Vishu. Behind the Urali vessel a mirror and the garlanded idol of Lord Krishna will be kept. The traditional Kerala lamp will be placed near the Sree Krishna idol.
As Vishu is considered as the astronomical New Year by Kerala, Vishubhalam or Vishu Bhalam is of great importance. Vishu Bhalam literally means predictions for the next one year. In olden days, a regional astrologer visits the illams (traditional Kerala homes) and used to tell the Vishubhalam or forecast of each family members. Nowadays Vishubhalam is published in popular Jyothisham magazines.
Vishupootu refers to preparing the agricultural land for the next agricultural season.
Wishing all the Hindu Devotional Blog readers a Happy and Prosperous Vishu 2016!
(With grateful acknowledgements to Sri. Abhilash Rajendran and his Web Page Hindu-Blog)
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