Importance of vishu
It is important to note that vishu is considered as the astrological New Year festival of Kerala state. This is celebrated during the month of April. In general we can say that it is observed during first day of medam( which is the Malayalam month). In 2011, vishu is celebrated on April 15.
Traditions of vishu
An important event during vishu is the vishukkani. Remember that vishukkani is also known as kanikanal which means first sight. It is interesting to note that the arrangements for vishukkani will be completed in the previous night & this consists of a nilavilakku(which is a lighted traditional lamp), an idol of lord Krishna, & some other items like arecanut(adakka) , betel leaves(vettila), raw rice(unakkalari), kanikonna( konna flowers), cucumber(vellari), vaal kannadi, coins & holy text which are kept in a uruli(shallow circular vessel with an open mouth). Uruli is most commonly seen in all houses of kerala. Remember that these arrangements are made in the puja room of the house.
Vishukkani is prepared in such a way so as to bring prosperity to the house in the New Year. This is mostly celebrated by the Hindus. Another fact to remember is that on the vishu day it is important to wake up at dawn & with the eyes closed you must go to the puja room for observing vishukkani. Remember that by seeing vishukkani you are able to see the first sight of the New Year. Do you know anything about kanikonna? Read the points below to understand the importance of kanikonna.
An introduction to kanikonna
All Malayalees are familiar with the term kanikonna which is an important flower. The interesting point is that this is very famous in Kerala state. It is important to note that the tree which produces kanikonna belongs to Kingdom: Plantae with Family: Fabaceae. Another important fact is that kanikonna is represented by the Binomial name: cassia fistula. Remember that this is a flowering as well as ornamental plant. Kanikonna is considered as the state flower of Kerala (God's own country) in India. Also note that cassia fistula & its flower are considered as the national tree as well as national flower of Thailand. But you must always remember the fact that cassia fistula is also known as the golden shower tree.It is an interesting sight in kerala to see the konna flowers on the road side during vishu festival.
It's really interesting to note down the important facts of kanikonna. The cassia fistula tree is a medium size one which grows well in tropical as well as subtropical climates. This is also known as vishu konna in Malayalam language. Well drained soil & full sunlight are needed for the growth of cassia fistula. Remember that this tree grows well in dry climates. Another interesting fact is that here the flowers are yellow in color. But the most important point regarding cassia fistula is that these flowers are having major importance during the vishu celebration of Kerala state in India.
Importance of kanikonna & vishu celebrations
It is important to note that these yellow flowers are actually used as an offering to Lord Krishna during the New Year of malayalees held in Kerala state, India. This is actually celebrated in the middle of April month. Usually all people wear new clothes during this occasion. Another important fact is that the elders of the family give vishukkaineetam to all members including servants which indicate a sharing nature. Also note that firecrackers are used by children during this festival. Remember that vishu sadya is also an important part of vishu celebration. During vishu, Guruvayoor & Sabarimala temples are famous for vishukkani sighting.Remember that Guruvayoor temple is located at the Thrissur district of Kerala state, India & Sabarimala temple is situated at the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala, India.
More articles: Vishu 2011
When we talk about Vishu, what one cannot forget about is "vishu kaineettam". It is an important ritual followed during Vishu and an exciting event for the younger folks. Younger folks, especially kids are given kaineettam which consists of coins or cash along with konna, rice and gold from the uruli. The gold and rice are returned to the uruli. However, nowadays mostly only coins or notes are given away. In return the younger ones bow down and get blessings from the elder members.
Another important event during vishu which the children of the house enjoys the most is the vishu padakkam, that is bursting of crackers, which is done early morning or late evening on the day of vishu.