(Last Updated on : 21/03/2013)
The festival of Vishu signifies the Sun's transit into the Mesha Raasi as well as represents the vernal equinox. 'Vishukkani' is a major custom which means "the first thing seen on the day of Vishu after awakening". Vishukkani consists of arrangement of articles like raw rice, fresh lemon; golden cucumber, betel leaves, arecanut, metal mirror, yellow flowers konna, a holy text and coins are placed in a bell metal vessel called uruli. Nilavilakku or alighted lamp is also placed alongside. These are all arranged the night before. On the day of Vishu it is customary to wake up at dawn and go to the puja room with eyes closed so that the Vishukkani is the first sight of New Year.
'Kani' means "that which is seen first", so "Vishukkani" means "that which is seen first on Vishu". This is arranged by the mother. It is considered good to read verses from Hindu Holy book Ramayan after seeing the "Vishukkani". People visit temples like Sabarimala
Ayyappan Temple, Guruvayur Sree Krishna temple in the early hours of to see the Vishukanni.
Children celebrate with burning firecrackers. New clothes are worn on this occasion and elders of the family give money ( Vishukkaineetam)to children, servants and other family members. On this day many food items are prepared as it is a day of feasting.
This day is considered as the first day of Zodiac Calendar. Kani Konna is major item that is a part of vishukanni. According to the age-old beliefs an auspicious kani at dawn on the Vishu day is lucky for the entire year.
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