This year, Vishu occurs on April 14th on the western calendar or the first day in the month of Medam in the Malayalam calendar.  Vishu is the New Year festival in Kerala and is the second largest after Onam.

 

Brass lights used during Vishu in Kerala.

Brass lights used during Vishu in Kerala.

On Vishu, everyone in the house wakes up very early and, one by one, they are brought with their eyes closed by the oldest member of the family to the pooja room. They open their eyes in front of Vishukani, a picture of Lord Vishnu that has been decorated with flowers and jewelry. Then oldest member gives a gift of money representing prosperity and happiness to every family member. Lunch is elaborate and consists of many traditional Kerala vegetarian items all served on banana leaves. Every family sets off firecrackers to celebrate the new year. The racket continues all day longa and is the second largest after Onam.

 

Happy New Year (again)!

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