Celebrating Vishu: A Tapestry of Traditions Across India


Team Udayavani, Apr 14, 2024, 11:01 AM IST

Vishu, a festival deeply ingrained in Malayali tradition, resonates beyond Kerala, spreading its joyous spirit to various parts of India. This year Vishu is celebrated on April 14, with homes in Kerala and beyond coming alive for a celebration steeped in cultural richness and traditional fervour.

Kerala’s Vibrant Traditions:

In the heartland of Kerala, Vishu heralds the beginning of a new year with an aura of excitement. The cornerstone of the celebration is the ritual of “Vishu Kani,” where an array of auspicious items are meticulously arranged the night before. Family members, with eyes closed, behold this sight at dawn, symbolizing the hope for prosperity and good fortune in the coming year.

The day unfolds with prayers, followed by the bursting of crackers, infusing the air with festivity. However, the highlight of Vishu is undoubtedly the Vishu Sadya, a lavish feast served on banana leaves. This culinary extravaganza features a myriad of delicacies like Vishu Thoran, Aviyal, and Semiya Payasam, uniting families in gastronomic delight.

Cultural Echoes Beyond Kerala:

While Kerala epitomizes Vishu’s essence, its cultural echoes reverberate across India. In Tamil Nadu, the festival is known as Puthandu, marked by similar customs of auspicious beginnings and feasting. Tamilians welcome the New Year with traditional fervor, reminiscent of their Malayali counterparts.

Likewise, in West Bengal, Poila Boishakh coincides with Vishu, evoking a sense of renewal and celebration. Bengalis commence the day with prayers at temples, followed by gatherings with loved ones. The day is marked by culinary delights like Basanti Pulao and sweetmeats, adding to the festive fervor.

Assam’s Bohag Bihu:

In Assam, Vishu harmonizes with the vibrant festival of Bohag Bihu. Adorned in traditional attire, Assamese communities come together to celebrate with cultural performances and feasts, embodying the spirit of Vishu with their unique flair.

Ugadi’s Radiance:

Ugadi, celebrated with zest in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, mirrors the ethos of Vishu. The festival signifies new beginnings, urging people to let go of past grievances and embrace life’s sweetness. Rituals like the placement of ‘Kani’ and recitation of Panchanga imbue Ugadi with the essence of Vishu’s pursuit of prosperity and renewal.

A Tapestry of Tradition:

Vishu weaves a rich tapestry of traditions across India, symbolizing the nation’s cultural diversity and unity in celebration. Regardless of regional variations, the festival encapsulates the collective desire for auspicious beginnings, familial bonds, and culinary indulgence.

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