India is a land of diversity. Each state of India has its own cultural trademarks that can never fade out of fashion irrespective of the solidarity of being Indian. Vishu is one such festival which is an identity of the State of Kerala. This festival marks the beginning of the new year in Kerala tradition and is considered to be a great auspicious occasion. While a lot of New Year celebrations are about pomp and show, this festival is relatively mellow, and it puts its focus on family values and positive beginnings.
Waking up on Vishu:
The celebrations of Vishu start in a unique fashion. The people of Kerala have a very strong belief that the experience of the entire year will be determined by what you experience as the first thing in the New Year. The Malayalam word for ‘the first thing that is seen’ is Kani. For this very reason, they have a special tray that is filled with a lot of good and auspicious items like sweets, lemons, Holy scriptures, jackfruit, areca nut, Kajal, open coconut, cassia flowers and even money. This tray, called as the Vishu Kani, is placed in the pooja Chamber of the house. Usually, the eldest member, in most cases, the mother of the family wakes up, performs the rites, and lights up the traditional oil lamp, known as Neivelakku. Then, she goes into the room of every person who is sleeping, blindfolds them, and leaves them to view the tray on which all the good things are kept. This will ensure that the people look at something that is very wholesomely pleasant as the first thing in the New Year. This is the kind of importance that the people of Kerala place on goodness and positivity in the New Year!
The vividness of Vishu:
If you were thinking Vishu is all about auspiciousness and beginning the year with positivity, there is more to it! Vishu is also about celebration, and the celebrations are especially vibrant with the children who love bursting crackers and displaying ornamental Fireworks on this special day. Needless to say, just like any new year celebration, the people of Kerala Sport new dresses on this day of auspiciousness.
The Vishu Sadya:
No Kerala Festival is complete without a traditional feast on a banana leaf. This feast is locally addressed as the Sadya. For any person who is new to this food culture, it is intimidating to see all the items that are systematically placed on the banana leaf. The Kerala Sadya, especially during Vishu is a grand culinary affair consisting of over 16 courses. There are certain specialty dishes like the Vishu Kanji, the thoran, and the Vishu Katta. Sometimes, there are thick stews that are made with raw mangoes, giving a sour taste, and a thin sauce (rasam) made with flowers of the neem tree. This goes in line with experiencing or all the taste like sweet, sour, bitterness and blandness on the same day. A similar culture can be observed in the state of Karnataka when they celebrate their state festival called the Ugadi.
Bijili and the Vishu Crackers:
Each state and each culture has its own festival that is held in high esteem. As much as there's Pongal for Tamil Nadu and Durga Pooja for the people of Bengal, it's the Vishu for Kerala, and people celebrate it drenched in joy, and the light and sound of crackers. Crackers are an inevitable part of any Vishu celebration. The best cracker-experience at convenience comes from buying Sivakasi Crackers Online by ordering them from a trusted vendor like bijili.in who source it from the choicest of manufacturers.