When is Vishu 2020 & What are the legends and stories behind the festival?

By | March 18, 2020

When is Vishu 2020?

Vishu means equal in the Sanskrit language and is similar to and has the same concept as the festivals of Baisakhi, Poila Baisakh, and others. Vishu is a name given by the Malayalee’s, that’s all. It is celebrated across the nation with varied names and varied rituals. The meaning of the celebrations, however, remains unchanged. While starting something afresh we all want it to be a good start, so that the run is smooth and ensures a better end. Similarly, the beginning of the year is celebrated with immense happiness and hope. The festival usually falls on the 14th of April.  

What are the legends and stories behind the festival?

The preparations, of course, begin a day before the actual festival and includes items such as say the Vishukkani, almost like a tray that contains a variety of things considered to be auspicious such as an image of Lord Vishnu, fruits, flowers and vegetables, gold coins and clothes. The center of the legends are pivoted around the belief that Lord Vishnu, who is considered the preserver of creation, and the God of time if he blesses the first day of the year, the year is blessed with thorough good events, goodwill, health, and prosperity. It also is believed to be the best time to offer oblations to God, as it is the first day of the Year. In Malayali traditions again, the day marks the time when the sun transits to the first solar month.  

What are the rituals followed?

The festival, unlike others, does not have staunch rituals to follow. It is a time when family members come together, spend time together, it is a time for merrymaking of the common people wishing and hoping for a good year ahead. The day also witnesses happy fireworks by children, adults alike, wearing their new clothes known as Puthukodi. There is also a special food item of the day, named Sadhya, which is a mixture of salty, bitter, sweet and sour food items.

The arrangement of the festival primarily involves an image of Vishnu, in the incarnation of Lord Krishna, Gold—both as in coin and colour, which is considered the pivotal point of the celebrations during the Puja. Along with all of those, a golden yellow flower, believed to be associated with Lord Krishna is also required.  

When is Vishu this year?

This festival marks the beginning of a new year and is known by the name of Vishu mainly in the state of Kerala. It is on the 14th of April, 2020, a Tuesday. 

This again is another festival that marks our unity in diversity. This might be the festival of the South, but is celebrated with equal ecstasy in other parts of the country as well. While the festival is called “Vishu” only in Kerala, across the nation, festivals sharing the same enthusiasm and context, but having different names—such as Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra, Bihu in Assam and Baisakhi in Punjab—are also celebrated during this same time of the year. Vishukkani is a symbol for wishing for a good year ahead- to a year of health, prosperity, and happiness. 

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