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Vishu is one of the most popular festivals in Kerala. Vishu falls on the first of Medam (March-April), which is the Malayalees New Years day. Since it is considered propitious to view good things on this day for year round good fortune,
Vishu morning is an important time. The heart of this festival of Kerala is the preparation of Kani-Kannal (the lucky sight or gift).
The custom of preparing the kani has been followed for generations. The women take a large dish made of bell-metal (uruli), arrange inside it a grantha (palm-leaf manuscript), a gold ornament, a new cloth, some flowers from the Konna Tree (Cassia fistula), some coins in a silver cup, a coconut split in two, a cucumber, some mangoes and a jack-fruit.
Behind this uruli, a mirror and a garlanded statue of Krishna are kept. On either side of the dish are placed two burning lamps with a chair facing it.
While morning prayers are played, or sung, the family members are taken blindfolded to the preparation and then their blindfolds are removed so that they view the Vishu Kani. The elders of the family then give money to the youngsters and bless them.
See this years Vishu Kani Blog and Videos
|According to the local beliefs, if you see Kani first thing in the morning, it will bring good luck for the rest of the year. As in other Indian festivals, a great feast at home is the high point of celebrating Vishu in Kerala.