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Apr 14, 2011

Vishu - the new year for Keralities.

Vishu Ashamsagal.

Today is 'Vishu' the new year day celebrated in the state of Kerala.On the new year day, 'Kani' is displayed. In the Kani, you can find Lord Krishna's idol/photo, a mirror, country vegetables like cucumber, raw mango, snake gourd, etc. and fruits like jack fruit (i didn;t get good one so its missing in the photo below), banana, ripened mango, etc., a bowl of water, rice, lentil, coconut, coins & rupee notes, chandan & kumkum, Traditional Oil Lamp.  Morning the elders arrange the kani, wake up the children and close their eyes with their palm, guide them to the pooja room, make them seated in front of kani , wipe their eyes with water and tell them to open the eyes. The first sight of the day is viewing the kani which is believed to be the good way to start a prosperous new year so that rest of the year will go on well. Children are asked to narrate what all they saw in the kani.

The entrance of the house is decorated with rangoli using colour powder or petals of different coloured flowers.

Now starts even more interesting part of the celebration. After taking bath, wearing new clothes the entire household will go & seek the blessings of the elders in the family & visit relatives. The elders give some money called 'kai neetam'. Children used to get kai neetam of different denominations, save them in their piggy bank, with each one boasting their collection as higher than the others.

Then the feast starts with lots of dishes spread on the banana  leaf viz.,  the sweet kheer / paayasam (chakka pradhaman), chakara upperi (sweetened banana chips), varathupperi (salted banana chips), pappadam (fried 'gram papad'), Pazha puliseri (buttermil based and flavoured with fruits viz., banana, ripened mango), Olan (a watery gravy using coconut milk and ash gourd sliced thinnly), Kalan (sour curd with masalas reduced & is very thick), Avial (a coconut based gravy using mixed vegetables viz, ashgourd, carrot, elephant yam, beans etc.), Puli inji, Thoran (dry vegetable dish) and few more dishes as per the preference of their family. This sumptous feast is called 'Sadhya'. The entire household sits together, and enjoy this wonderful feast spread on banana leaves. 

Today though there is lack of time due to fast moving life, still some manage to get time to visit their native place to celebrate the festival in grand manner.

May this new year brings you lots of prosperity, health and happiness. Wish you all a great day.



Vishu Kani

The traditional oil lamp






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