Sunday marked the start of a new year for Malayalis and Assamese across the city.
Bandra resident Beena Menon, 45, received gold bangles as gift from her husband for Vishu on Sunday, a harvest festival celebrated in Kerala. As part of the tradition, elders in the family gift gold or cash as a token of love to younger members.
Having decorated the temple area for Vishukanni ( where an array of auspicious objects are arranged on a tray to be seen first thing in the morning to bring good luck), which comprised yellow fruits, flowers and gold ornaments displayed around Lord Vishnu’s idol, the Menons started their day at 4.30am with rituals, as she believes the younger generation should carry forward the culture.
“The colour yellow represents prosperity. This auspicious day is strictly to be celebrated at home with good food, accompanied by your loved ones,” said Menon who wore a traditional yellow-hued sari. I cooked typical Kerala cuisine, including payasum at home for the family.”
Around 40km away, in Panvel, 42-year-old Anjana Saikia, a native of Assam, celebrated the harvest festival of Rongali Bihu.
“Though we do not buy gold on Bihu, we get various other gifts in the form of clothes, mobile phones or shoes. We wait for this day to have fun, celebrate, eat and dance our hearts out to the tunes of traditional Bihu songs,” said Saikia, who was gifted a sari that she had been eyeing for a long time as a gift from her husband.
Paban Kataky, president, Assam Association Mumbai said, “Celebrations are not on the same scale but we try and make efforts to keep the tradition alive in the city for the younger generation to learn about the culture.”