eralites celebrated their summer-harvest festival Vishu with traditional fervour, looking ahead to an year of plenty and prosperity on Sunday.
People in Hindu homes woke up at the day-break to look at 'Vishu Kani', the ceremonial sighting of precious articles, fruits and vegetables tastefully laid out in brass platters with a bell-metal lamp lighted before it.
Temples across the state, including the famous Guruvayur Sri Krishna temple and Sabarimala Ayyppa shrine, also arranged 'Vishu kani', where devotees thronged in large numbers to have darshan.
A sumptuous feast, mostly comprising typical Malayali dishes made of seasonal fruits and vegetables, was another feature of the occasion.
Keeping up tradition, elders in families gave 'Vishu Kaineettam', or cashi gifts, to women and children.
In north Kerala, where Vishu is celebrated on a grandeur scale, the occasion also marked the beginning of week-long 'Vishu Vilakku' festival in several temples.
Vishu is greeted with bursting crackers and colourful fireworks. The cracker sales, however, was hit this year due to the scare casued by the devastating cracker shop fire in the SM Street in Kozhikode a few days back.
Kerala Governor RL Bhatia, Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan and Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy greeted the people on the occasion.