Keralites all over the world are set to celebrate the Hindu New Year, Vishu. This year, the festival will be observed Thursday, April 14.
The auspicious day begins with Vishukkani, which is the first thing devotees see soon after waking up from sleep in the morning. For the traditional New Year sighting, elders of the family arrange holy texts, coins, rice, fruits, vegetables, metal mirror, betel leaves, arecanut, kanikkonna flowers (Cassia fistula) and lighted brass lamps in the prayer room near Lord Krishna’s statue that will be decorated with garlands.
Following this, elders give money to the younger ones and this gesture is known asVishu kaineettam, as a symbolic representation of wealth and sharing. The festival is also known for Puthukodi (buying new clothes), Vishu Sadya (feast) andVishupadakkam (firecrackers). The sumptuous lunch will have different varieties of items, including mampazha pulissery, Vishu kanji, Vishu katta, payasam, among many others.
Devotees also visit the popular Sabarimala and Guruvayur temples for the Vishukkani Kazhcha during the early hours of the day. Meanwhile, the first day of the solar calendar is celebrated as Puthandu in Tamil Nadu, Bisu in Mangalore and Udupi, Ugadi in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, and Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra.