Malayalam New Year/Vishu Friday 18th August 2023
The festival of Vishu is celebrated with joy and mirth on the first day of Malayalese month of Medam. This corresponds to April-May according to Gregorian calendar. The Vishu festival is significant to Hindus since Vishu marks the Astronomical New Year Day.
Traditional people of Kerala practice a lot of colourful rituals and customs on Vishu festival. Vishu is held on the first day of the New Year. Since all good things continue all year round, people celebrate Vishu well.
In the state of Kerala, Mesha Sankranthi is celebrated as Vishu, though it is not traditionally celebrated as New Year in the Malayalam Calendar. According to Malayalam Calendar, the New Year starts on the first day of Chingam. However, people in the Malabar area and some other parts of Kerala consider Vishu as the astronomical New Year.
Vishu is celebrated with much festivity and enthusiasm in all parts of Kerala. Vishu Kani is the most important event in Vishu. Vishu Kani is a ritual which involves seeing the most auspicious thing at early morning on the Vishu day, which is believed to bring luck throughout the year.
Another famous ritual is Vishukkaineetam, which involves gifting money to children, relatives, servants and tenants by the elders of the family to share the happiness of the day.
Vishu is also a day of feast. The foods consist of delicious meals as well as equal proportions of salty, sweet, sour and bitter items. Some of the special items are Vishu kanji, Thoran, and Vishu kata. The delicacies also include Veppampoorasam, which is a bitter preparation of neem, and Mampazhapulissery, a sour and tasty mango soup.