Vishu marks the New Year according to the Malayalam Calendar. The day begins with opening your eyes to a wonderful ‘Vishukani’ comprised of all things yellow. The ‘Vishukani’ should be the first thing you see as soon as you wake up and that means you have to get out of bed with your eyes closed and make your way to the kani.
The traditional kani comprises yellow cucumbers, jackfruit, bananas, rice, coconut, a traditional dhoti, a mirror, any form of gold, ‘konna’ flowers and a lit lamp. Being in the USA, it is difficult to find some of the traditional ingredients and I have learned to make do whatever is available here. After all it is the thought that counts, isn’t it?
Another aspect of Vishu is the ‘kaineettam’…the money you get from the elders in the house. I remember receiving ‘kaineettam’ from my parents, grand parents and others in the family and then saving up for buying something special. And finally, of course there is the food. Even though the Vishu lunch is not as elaborate as the one on Onam, it still calls for a few special dishes.
Here’s to many more lovely Vishu celebrations.
Click here for a few Kerala specialties.