Significance of Vishu Festival, importance of Vishu in Kerala. Mahatmya of Vishu festival for Malayalees.
Vishu is a grand day of feasting. The foods comprises of equal proportions of sweet, salty, bitter and sour items. Feast items comprises a sour mango soup is known as Mampazhappulissery and a bitter preparation of neem is known as Veppampoorasam.
The most important event of this particular day is the “Vishukkani” that literally means in the Malayalam language as “the first thing seen on the day of Vishu after waking up”. It is to be highly noted that the Vishukkani comprises of auspicious articles in a ritual arrangement like yellow flowers konna (Cassia fistula), metal mirror, raw rice, golden cucumber, fresh lemon, arecanut, betel leaves, coins and a holy text.
In the puja room of the house, all these articles are placed in a bell metal vessel known as “Uruli”. On the other hand, a lighted bell metal lamp known as nilavilakku is rightly placed alongside the Uruli. The night before Vishu, this is perfectly arranged.
On the day of Vishu, it is a custom to wake up at early dawn and directly go towards the puja room with eyes tightly closed so that the grand Vishukkani is the very first sight in the new season. After seeing the “Vishukkani”, it is considered auspicious for reading verses from Ramayanam, the Hindu Holy book.
It is also strongly believed that the particular page of the epic Ramayanam that is immediately opened up will have a direct bearing on the person’s life in the upcoming year. On this particular day, in the early hours of “Vishu” day, devotees in large number with family members, relatives and friends visit temples such as Guruvayur Sree Krishna temple and Sabarimala Ayyappan Temple to have a “Vishukkani Kazhcha”.