The New Year day celebration of Malayalees is Vishu. On the first day of Malayalam month Medam, it is grandly celebrated with great devotion and dedication. It usually falls on the 14th of April as per the Georgian calendar. Vishu in the Sanskrit language means “equal”.
This festival is celebrated in other parts of India in different names such as Vishua Sankranti in Orissa, Puthendu in Tamil Nadu, Baisakhi in Punjab, Ugadi in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh plus Bihu in Assam.
It is to be highly noted that one of the major festivals of Kerala is Vishu. It is especially celebrated among the Hindus in Kerala. There are many features of Vishu, they are Vishukkani, vishu pulari, vishukkaineetam, etc.
According to the local legends, “When sun crosses the equator it is the the day of Malayalam month Medam which is Astronomical New Year Day for the people of Kerala, which falls in April, mostly on the 14th.”
Vishu is regarded as the auspicious day and new beginning, and celebrate it is traditionally celebrated with colorful customs and rituals, largely accompanied by merriment and joy. It is to be remembered that Chingam is the official Malayalam New Year (August-September), but it doesn’t have any significance either astronomically or astrologically. Therefore Vishu is grandly celebrated as New Year by the Malayalee population in Kerala and rest of the world.
This particular festival is a symbol of prosperity, hope and good luck. This festival unites the family members, relatives and friends. This festival also brings back Malayalees who are staying abroad away from Kerala.