Vishu – Spring Equinox

Vishu is traditionally celebrated as a New Year in the Malayalam Calendar, and the day is often considered as the first day of the Zodiac Calendar. However, if the equinox occurs after dawn on the first day of the zodiac calendar, then the Vishu celebrations will be on the next day, ie the second day of the calendar. In 2014, first day of the calendar falls on 14 April but the equinox occurs after 7am. Therefore Vishu will be celebrated on 15th April 2014. The Vishu Kani is meant to bring luck and prosperity for the year starting from Vishu Day Medam 1st. As Vishu marked the first day of the Malayalam Zodiac, it is considered an appropriate time to offer oblations to Hindu gods.

Ofcourse I’d be giving the gods the finger instead, if they existed. Anyways, I don’t hold any of the religious views or anything like that. I like that it’s another holiday, another new year for this culture. As a kid I liked the fact that we, my cousins & I, got money from our elders and that means buying cassette tapes or going to the movie or go get some junk food like burgers and shakes. And the sadya! Yes, I rarely go to weddings or other functions anymore so for the past 10 years or so sadyas for me are restricted to Onam & Vishu sadyas – so just twice a year. And I look forward to them.

I prefer a simple sadya; rice, kalan, sambhar, maybe some olan, cabbage thoran, some pickle and pulliserri, poppadoms and finally semia payasam. That’s it! No 100 curries or stuff, just the simplest stuff. And then I’d be so full that I’d have to lie down.

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