In Kerala, Vishu is the Zodiac New Year for the Malayalees. On the day of Vishu festival, an assortment of auspicious articles which are viewed when a person opens one’s eyes is known as Vishukani, or Vishukkani. It is to be highly noted that the list of auspicious articles varies much from region to region plus largely depends on the immediate availability of the article in this particular season.
The eight auspicious articles known regionally as Ashtamangalyam are a must for Vishu festival. This comprises of:
- Uruli-a large vessel made of panchaloham – five metalsTamboolam
- Akshatam – a mixture of rice and turmeric
- Betel leaves
- Kramugam: Betel nut
- Dharu cheppu – Kumukumam in a small container
- Darpanam – Mirror generally Aranmula kanadi
- Grantham – Book normally Bhagavad Gita
- Ambaram – Cloth – Kodi mundu-a nice clean traditional Kerala mundu
In the arrangement of Vishukani, the Ashtamangalyam is very common in various regions of Kerala. The Kanikonna (a yellow color flower found throughout Kerala) particularly during the Vishu season is the next most significant article of Vishu festivity.
The fruits and vegetables used in Vishukkani are two or more Coconuts with its branch (Thenga Kula), Small jackfruit (idichakka), Mango fruit along with its leaves and small branches, at least two Cashew nuts along with leaves and small branches, Pineapple, Golden colored cucumber (Kani Vellari), yellow colored Bananas and other fresh yellow or golden yellow colored vegetables.
The metals used in Vishukkani are gold, coins, Kindi, it is a traditional vessel with a tail used to keep water and Nirapara, it is a measuring vessel filled with un-husked rice.