When is Vishu?

Vishu is usually celebrated on April 14th or 15th each year by the people of Kerala, known as Malayalees. It is the first day of the summer month Medham in the Malayalam Calendar. In India, different calendars are followed along with the usual one beginning with January and ending with December. These are based on the seasons and helped people in olden days to keep track of when to plant crops, when to expect the rains and when the crops would be ready for harvest. A new set of seasons begins with Vishu.

Children get new clothes for Vishu and burst firecrackers. There’s usually a feast.

Malayalee Hindus have a custom called Vishu Kani. There is a belief that if the first things you see on Vishu morning are good, holy and valuable, the year ahead will be blessed. Women make an arrangement of a mirror, an idol of Lord Krishna, a holy book, Malabar cucumbers, mangoes and jackfruits, jewelry, money, new clothes and golden-yellow laburnum flowers. Children are woken up, blindfolded, and led to this arrangement, which they see on opening their eyes. Elders give children coins and other gifts to bless them. This is known as Vishu Kaineetam.

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