It has been quite a long time since my last post and here is one on Vishu :D
Vishu aka the Malayalam New Year,falls usually on April 14 or 15th every year.It is celebrated with the usual exuberance of any festival, it is also a harvest festival which is a reminder of the days of our forefathers. Vishu also means equal as it is the day during the equinox, when there is equal number of hours of daylight and darkness.
Now I shall stop providing Wikipedia like info on my blog and write what I wanted to about Vishu :P . Definitely my readers would by now know the fact that it is not that Vishu is a harvest festival nor that it has equal day and night hours that makes me feel so happy about the festival! *duuh* It is the festival where you get Kaineetam (Tradition where elders give money to the younger ones),Vishu Kani (the first sight in the morning), then the epic Sadhya ( feast) it is the elaborate meal on a big banana leaf where you will be treated to almost 25 dishes with rice ( a buffet where you needn't move around – everything comes to you in a specific order) then crackers and new clothes.
|Yummy sumptuous Sadhya- The Keralite buffet ;)|
Vishu Kani arrangement is a fun thing to do in India, because the yellow golden Laburnum flowers are an integral part of the Kani and since we did not have these flowers at our house,we invariably plucked them from the trees in our neighbors’ houses ,and in houses where they act like they can’t share a few flowers we take it without their consent *yeaah steal :P I am pretty sure that the people from whose backyards I “borrowed” some flowers without consent from them will not read my blog, even if they do for the greater good they will forgive me :P*, and in case it’s on the higher branches all the monkey acts to get some so that the Vishu kani is perfect for the next day morning .Then setting it with Vegetables, fruits, mirrors, pictures and idols of God, Money, Gold and lot more things which depending on each household varies. And the even beautiful part is the view you have in the morning, usually my mother wakes me up and leads me to the place where the Kani is set and it is the first view that you have once you open your eyes. An auspicious Kani at dawn on the Vishu day is considered lucky for the entire year. It’s not every day that you get to see such a beautifully set view in the morning.
As a person who has spent only few Vishu’s in India with my relatives, the times I have are cherished memories. Especially watching my grandfather read the Ramayana and listening to him narrate the stories for me, also our conversations where he reminisces about his young days,then visiting the temple with him . Followed by, pestering everyone who comes home that day for Kaineetam. We used to literally visit *in reality,raid * every house in the neighborhood acting like kids spreading the joy of Vishu but there, just to get our money :D. Being the youngest one was good and bad then, because as the youngest some of my kind elders would give me more money and others would just be like’ you’re a kid what do you need money for !’ and give me less than my sister * What do they know about the financial needs of a ten year old! Hmph*.I also had to deal with extra” smart” brothers who would give coins and get away with it and their supposedly valid reasoning for it is that for Vishu Kaineetam it should be given only in coins and not notes! *Can’t blame them, coz I do it now :P*
The sumptuous lunch which is like a half an hour ritual *actually the time is variable, based on how much you hog*. After which there will be games and conversation and the usual laziness after a heavy meal! *burp :P*
Even in my 4years of hostel life, I used to set up Kani with great fervor , it was the only festival I religiously made sure to take the pain to celebrate. Though I don’t really believe in the auspiciousness of the Kani,the entire joy of setting it up and waking up in the morning to view it gives a sense of happiness that I cherish.
For those of my readers who could relate,I am sure you might have had a good time reminiscing old memories and for those of you who are getting to know Vishu for the first time- it is today and if you have Keralite friends around bug them to treat you with a Sadhya :) *fully vegetarian deliciouss meal! *
I would love to hear your favorite memories of the festival and for my readers who are wondering about Vishu it is a festival like Ugadi, Tamil New Year and Lohri *that’s all I can think of now* .
So dear readers, Vishu all a Happy Vishu ;D *pun intended* Hope all of you have a brilliant year ahead :)