• Mohanlal celebrating Vishu 2014
    Mohanlal celebrating Vishu 2014Mohanlal/Facebook
  • Vishu Kani (Wikimedia Commons/Sureshcnair)
    Vishu Kani (Wikimedia Commons/Sureshcnair)Wikimedia Commons
  • Kanikkona flowers
    Kanikkona flowersVinoo Prakash V/Twitter

Happy Vishu!

Vishu, known for its Vishukkani and Kaineettam, marks the Malayalam New Year.

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The day starts with Vishukkani, the first thing people see on the day after waking up. As a symbol of prosperity, rice, fruits, vegetables, betel leaves, metal mirror, kanikkonna flowers (Cassia fistula), arecanut, holy texts, coins, lighted brass lamps and a decorated statue of Lord Krishna will be arranged by elders in the prayer room to be a welcoming sight on New Year morning.

According to tradition, elders also give kaineettam (giving money) to younger ones in the family as a symbolic representation of wealth and sharing. Buying new dresses are also part of the age-old tradition.

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For the younger generation, the festival is all about bursting fire crackers on the festival, which is also considered as a day of lights.

Another highlight of the day is the traditional sadya or sumptuous lunch, which includes veppam poo (neem flower) rasammampazhappulissery, Vishu kanji and Vishu katta, among others.

Devotees also pray at the popular Sabarimala and Guruvayur temples during the auspicious occasion.

The song, "Kanikaanum neram kamalanethrante", sung by KS Chithra is the most popular song in Malayalam as a prayer to Lord Krishna.