Malayalees celebrate Vishu the Harvest festival

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Mumbai, April 16

Vishu, the first day of the Medam month in the Malayalam calendar, is one of the most important festivals for Malayalees. It is also Kerala New year day and is celebrated all over the country where Malayalees live.  The auspicious day  also marks the beginning of agriculture calendar in Kerala and the land would witness the beginning of many agricultural activities.

The main ritual on this day is ‘Vishukkani’ .  People make it a point to see all the auspicious things as soon as they wake up. The previous night, the woman of the house arranges a ‘Visukkani’ that consists of rice, fresh whole vegetables and fruits, betel leaves, grains and silver coins, among other things. Konna, a special yellow flower, is a must in the kani. All these are placed at the feet of Lord Krishna with a big mirror kept at the back .

In Mumbai the festival was celebrated in most  of the temples where  preferably  the idol of  Lord Krishna is kept. After a gap of two years , the Asthika Samaj  at Matunga in central Mumbai, permitted the devotees to enter the temple to have the darshan of Lord Krishna and Vishukani. Generally Keralite ladies wear   traditional Zaried  off white saree called ‘Pamundu’ and men silk dhothi. They  stand in  que   from early morning to see the decorations and also the glimpses of Lord Guruvayoorappan.

The day is also marked by a special feast, called 'sadya', which is an elaborate meal consisting of nearly 25 items similar to Onam feast consists of  rice, sambar, aviyal, rasam, pachhadi,  banana chips, pickle, papadam, and different varieties of payasams ( keer) made out of Jaggery and milk.

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