Vishu will be celebrated across Kerala and nearby regions on April 15 this year. Vishu is the Hindu new year of Kerala which follows the solar cycle of the lunisolar as the first day of month called Medam. The word Vishu, which means 'equal' in Sanskrit, ushers in spring equinox. On this day, devotees visit temples and offer their prayer to Lord Krishna, who is worshipped on this day. People also visit Sabarimala Ayyappan Temple, Guruvayur Sree Krishna temple or the Kulathupuzha Sree BaalaShastha Temple to have a 'Vishukkani Kazhcha' (viewing) in the early hours of the day.
Vishu coincides with Baisakhi (Sikh New Year), Pohela Boishakh (Bengali New Year), Bohag Bihu (Assamese New Year) and Puthandu (Tamil New Year).
Political leaders and parties, along with the President, also started sending out new year greetings on social media.
Greetings to fellow citizens on Vaisakhi, Vishu, Mesadi, Rongali Bihu, Naba Barsha, Vaisakhadi, Puthandu Pirappu. These festivals reflect our country's shared heritage amid diversity and plural traditions. May the occasion bring joy, peace and prosperity to all #PresidentKovind— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) April 14, 2019
Wishing all a very happy Baisakhi, Vaisakhadi, Bihu, Poila Boishakh, Vishu, Maha Bisuba Sankranti and Puthandu.— BJP (@BJP4India) April 14, 2019
May these festivals bring harmony, joy and prosperity in your lives. pic.twitter.com/b4YPCZwSTO
Happy Vishu pic.twitter.com/XJYI99yJuk— All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) April 14, 2019
Typically, the senior most woman in every household arranges the Vishukani on the night before the festival. Kani literally translates into 'first sight' -- the lady of the house blindfolds every member of the family and leads them to witness the Vishukani. It is the perfect, auspicious beginning to the year; the Kani features 'ashtamangalyam', the eight essential elements that include a traditional Mundu, a religious text (typically The Bhagavad Gita) and a mirror.
The Vishukanni also features gold ornaments or a coin, traditional fruits and vegetables -- generally served on a banana leaf. One of the other traditions of Vishu is the Vishukkaineetam, where the older members of the family gift younger members with money along with their blessings. Fireworks are usually reserved for Vishu in Kerala homes.
Almost every Hindu home in Kerala wakes up to a surreal sight full of golden hues on Vishu, the beginning of the New Year.