Vishu 2024: Date, Day, Significance And More
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Considered to be an auspicious day for Hindus, it is believed that the first sight – or Vishukanni – one sees on the morning of the Vishu festival, sets the tone for the rest of the year. Falling on April 14 this year, auspicious items like rice, fruits, vegetables, flowers, coins and a sacred text is placed in front of the deities and then viewed the following morning – as one of the key rituals. The idea is that as the first thing one sees as soon as they wake up in the morning, devotees seek blessings for prosperity and success in the coming year.


After viewing the vishukkani arrangement, family members also exchange money and other gifts as a symbol of love, goodwill and prosperity. This ritual, known as Vishu kani kazhcha, involves giving and receiving gifts, especially to younger members of the family, to mark the auspicious occasion. Besides the vishukanni, one of the key aspects of Vishu is the preparation of a special meal known as sadhya – a feast that typically includes a variety of vegetarian dishes served on a banana leaf.

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Tweaking the feast to accommodate seasonal specialties on the banana leaf, the meal also pays homage to the bountiful harvest in Kerala. Since it marks the beginning of the new year according to the solar calendar, Vishu symbolizes the start of a new cycle, observed as a time for renewal and fresh beginnings. The temple-style meal, which includes components such as rice, sambar, the mixed vegetable delicacy of aviyal, stir-fried vegetables called thoran, pachadi and payasam, is relished amongst family or a large gathering of people.

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Lighting lamps or vilakku, is also an integral part of the celebrations, symbolising the dispelling of darkness and ignorance and meant to usher light, prosperity and happiness in one’s life. Another tradition associated with the festival is the custom of giving money to children and younger family members as a token of blessings and good luck. The gesture – known as Vishu padakkam, symbolizes the elders’ wishes for the younger generation to prosper and thrive in the coming year.

Many people also visit temples on Vishu day to offer prayers and seek blessings for an auspicious year ahead. Special Vishu prayers and rituals are performed at temples, and devotees often make offerings of fruits, flowers, and traditional sweets to the deities.