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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    'Vishu' - a Malayalee festival wishing a better tomorrow.

    The Malayalam year starts with Medam (mesham) theoretically. In practice the year is beginning on the first of Chingam. However, the first of Medam is celebrated as 'Vishu'. It need not coincide exactly on the first day of Medam. This year it is on second of Medam( tomorrow). Actually Vishu has its importance due to the Sun's position. It is on this day that Sun comes exactly above the equator such that the duration of day and night will be equal.
    Malayalee people give special importance to this day connecting with wealth and production. On that day people get up early and see "Kani". It is seeing an arrangement done for the day. In a corner of a room or the regular space of worship will be specially arranged to become the first sight of the day. And the result of this rich sight on the first day will lead to a prosperous year, the belief goes like that.
    The items arranged for view will include yellow/ golden flowers (Konna flower), gold and coins, fruits and vegetables, dhothi and an oil lamp lit. A new dhothi and other symbolic rich items. Generally all these will be kept in a round bronze pot (uruli) near the lit oil lamp. Photos of different God's also will arranged near this. All the members of the family used to get up early morning and each will be led to this 'Kani' blind folded. Everybody opens their eyes only to see this symbolic arrangements as the first view of the day and the days following. Generally the housewife gets up first and lot the light there before others are brought there.
    The belief is that this symbolic sight will lead to a rich and prosperous year ahead. After the sight seeing the eldest member of the family will distribute money (a coin) to every member of the family.This again is a symbolic expression of getting money/ income throughout the year.
    In addition to this the agriculture activities also are begun on the same day, being an auspicious day.
  • #633689
    Gradually the people are migrating to other places including those located in foreign countries for greener pastures. The traditions are getting faded from the memories of present generation. The boundaries are melting due to globalisation and traditions and practices of universal nature are getting emerged for celebration.

    Nowadays, new year day is being celebrated during the midnight of 31 Dec and 1 Jan by younger generation.

    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #633695
    A very good post with the details of the new year day celebrations. Many people these days don't know the importance of these festival days. They simply celebrate as it is told by the elders. I fell that the elders in the family should explain the importance of these festivals and why it is celebrated on that day and what is the importance of the day so that our culture and systems will get penetrated to the next generation.
    always confident

  • #633702
    I feel that Mr. Kailash kumar did not read my post completely. January first is the new year day for everybody following the Christian era, which is now 2018. My note was about the Malayalam era which was once followed in this part of the country, mainly among those who speak Malayalam as their mother tongue. This year is 1193 as per that calendar. This year is also divided into twelve months starting Medam and ending with Meenam. The names of these 12 months are the Malayalam translation of Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo,Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.
    Gold Member ISC

  • #633711
    I had experience that we tend to celebrate festivals and even rituals more eagerly and involved when we are away from our native place. The loneliness and emotions of separation due to migration are somehow compensated by the coming together of similar people and celebrating the festivals forgetting other differences.
    For example one of my friends who is now employed and residing in an African nation has sent me a copy of the programme notice of the Vishu celebration in that place for today. Last year I saw the pics of their celebration and amused that even I who is in Kerala was not that much meticulous or traditional in all details as they did there.

    Same was the case when I was away from Kerala, but saw to it that we celebrated almost all the festivals either at home or collectively at a place.

    I am sure this will be the case for all others from different states. When we are outside India, all Indians join to celebrate the major Indian festivals.

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