Vishu 2023: Date, history, significance and celebration of Malayalam New Year - Hindustan Times
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Vishu 2023: Date, history, significance and celebration of Malayalam New Year

Apr 15, 2023 11:58 AM IST

Vishu 2023: Let's delve deeper into the history and significance of Vishu and explore the various rituals and customs associated with Malayalam New Year.

Vishu, the Malayalam New Year, is a festival that is celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm in the southern Indian state of Kerala. It falls on the first day of the Malayalam month of Medam, which usually falls in the month of April as per the Gregorian calendar. The festival has a rich history and is steeped in cultural and traditional significance. Vishu is a time for new beginnings and is celebrated with traditional rituals, feasts, and colourful decorations. Throughout Kerala, Vishu is celebrated with great enthusiasm and is an integral part of the state's culture and traditions. From history, and significance to date here is all you need to know about this auspicious festival. So, let's dive into the colourful and vibrant world of Vishu! (Also read: Vishu 2023: Traditional sweet dishes to include in Vishu Sadya )

Vishu is a vibrant and joyous festival that marks the beginning of the New Year according to the Malayalam calendar, which is used in the southern Indian state of Kerala.(Pinterest)
Vishu is a vibrant and joyous festival that marks the beginning of the New Year according to the Malayalam calendar, which is used in the southern Indian state of Kerala.(Pinterest)

Date, history, significance and celebration of Malayalam New Year

Vishu 2023 Date:

Vishu, the Malayalam New Year, is celebrated on the first day of the Malayalam month of Medam. This usually falls in the month of April as per the Gregorian calendar. The exact date of Vishu varies each year based on the positioning of the sun, but it typically falls on or around April 14. This year the festival will be celebrated on Saturday, April 15.

Vishu history:

Vishu has a rich history steeped in mythology and folklore. According to legend, Lord Krishna killed Narakasura the demon on this day while another says that it was the day when the Surya Dev returned. It is said that demon king Ravana did not allow the Sun God to rise from the east and Vishu marks the day after Ravana's death when the sun could finally rise from the east.

Signifinace of Vishu:

Vishu is a significant festival in Kerala that marks the beginning of the New Year according to the Malayalam calendar. It has deep cultural, spiritual, and social significance and is celebrated with traditional rituals, feasts, and the exchange of gifts. The festival symbolizes new beginnings, the victory of good over evil, and the triumph of light over darkness. It is a time for rejoicing, renewal, and coming together with loved ones to seek blessings for a happy and prosperous New Year.

Celebration:

Vishu celebrations begin at dawn with the traditional custom of looking at the Vishu Kani. A day prior to the festival, an elder member of the household sets up the Vishu Kani, which includes auspicious items like raw rice, flowers, coins, and other symbolic objects arranged in a bell-shaped vessel called Uruli. A traditional lamp, Nilavilakku, is also lit and placed beside the Uruli. On the day of the festival, family members wake up with closed eyes and look at the Vishu Kani first thing in the morning to attract good luck and prosperity.

After this ritual, the family reads verses from the Ramayana, followed by bursting of crackers as part of Vishu Paddakam. All family members then come together to enjoy a sumptuous Vishu Sadya, which is a traditional feast served on banana leaves and includes 20-30 dishes. The feast includes a variety of delicacies such as Vishu Thoran, Beans Thoran, Beetroot Pachadi, Manga Peukku, Tomato Rasam, Aviyal, Sarkara Varatti, Olan, Chakka Aviyal, and Semiya Payasam. The Vishu Sadya is a special part of the festival and is enjoyed by all with great enthusiasm.

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