As the cold winter winds fade away, a season of rejuvenation and celebration takes over. The arrival of spring is not just a change in weather but also a change in mood and spirit. And, what better way to celebrate the beauty of spring than by embracing the diversity of festivals it brings?
One such festival is the vibrant and colourful Vishu, celebrated with great enthusiasm in the southern state of Kerala. It marks the beginning of a new year, and the entire state comes alive with joy and excitement. The Vishu celebration in Kerala is a beautiful mix of traditions, rituals, and feasting, making it a truly unforgettable experience.
If you happen to be in Kerala during April, don't miss the opportunity to join the Vishu 2023 festivities and immerse yourself in the local culture. From Vishu's significance & celebration to the story behind the Vishu festival, every aspect of it is covered in this article.
So come and experience the magic of Vishu 2023 and celebrate the new year in true Kerala style. With this guide, you'll have everything you need to know about the festival and be able to connect with the local community in a meaningful way. Let's welcome spring with open arms and celebrate the joy of life together!
Vishu's significance and importance
The Vishu significance lies in its celebration of the new year, the onset of spring, and the auspiciousness associated with sighting the Vishu Kani.
Vishu, derived from the Sanskrit word "equal," signifies the day of equal hours of day and night, also known as the equinox. The Vishu festival in Kerala is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is celebrated with great devotion across Kerala. Vishu Kani is the festival's highlight, the first thing seen at dawn. Along with celebrating the onset of spring and harvest season, Vishu commemorates Lord Krishna's victory over the demon Narakasura. One is said to attract good luck and prosperity for the year by beholding the Vishu Kani. As part of Vishu Kani, the image of Vishu Krishna is often placed alongside other auspicious items like rice, flowers, and coins. Be a part of the Vishu celebration in Kerala and seek the blessings of the Almighty for a prosperous year ahead!
The story behind Vishu
The story behind the Vishu festival revolves around the demon Narakasura, who Lord Krishna defeated. This victory symbolised the triumph of good over evil and brought a new era of prosperity and joy. The Vishu festival in Kerala celebrates hope and renewal, reminding us constantly to cherish the good in our lives.
Vishu and mythology
The legends surrounding Vishu are many, and they add to the overall significance of the celebration. In one version of the story behind the Vishu festival, Vishu is the day when Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasura. At the same time, in another version, it is celebrated as the return of Surya Dev, the sun god. According to folklore, Ravana, the demon king, was stopping Surya Dev from rising in the east. Only on the day of Vishu, after the death of Ravana, the sun started to rise from the east, bringing light and prosperity to the people. It is no wonder that the celebration of Vishu holds such a special place in the hearts of Hindus, as it marks the beginning of a new year and the hope for a brighter future.
Vishukanni and other traditional rituals
The celebration of Vishu New Year is of great importance in Hindu culture, as it is a time to welcome the New Year with traditional rituals and customs. An important tradition of Vishu is the Vishukanni display. The arrangement of flowers, fruits, vegetables, and holy texts in a metal vessel called uruli is a sight to behold. Besides the Vishukanni display, a traditional bell metal lamp called the nilavilakku is lit, adding to the auspiciousness of the occasion. The ritual is done in homes and temples, and the first sight of Vishukanni, viewed through a metal mirror, is believed to bring prosperity and good luck in the coming year.
The festival day of Vishu begins with the mother or eldest member of the family taking a ritual bath and lighting the lamp early in the morning. One by one, the family members are awakened by the mother or eldest member of the family. She covers their eyes and leads them to the Vishukanni, where they receive Lord Krishna's blessings. This is a moment of great anticipation and excitement for all family members as they eagerly await the benefits that come with the first sight of the Vishukanni.
Kerala Vishu is a vibrant and vital festival in Hindu culture, celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion. Its customs and rituals, such as the Vishukanni display and the lighting of the nilavilakku, hold great significance and are believed to bring good luck and prosperity. The legends surrounding Vishu's importance make the festival a time of hope and joy. To fully experience the essence of Kerala Vishu celebrations, check out the delicious food prepared on this auspicious day.
The Vishu celebration in Kerala highlights the state's rich cultural heritage, and Vishu's importance is evident in the devotion and enthusiasm with which it is celebrated each year.