Vishu is celebrated as New Year by the people of Kerala and the regions adjoining to Tamil Nadu. According to the Malayalam calendar, it is the first day of the month of Medam. This is the best time for tourists to see the colourful celebration of Vishu.
One of the important events of the day is the ritual in the morning after waking up. It is known as Vishukanni, the first thing to be seen on the day of Vishu. It requires the seeing of auspicious articles for welcoming another year of prosperity. The auspicious articles arranged for Vishukanni are betel leaves, raw rice, kanikonna flower (yellow flowers), cucumber, golden ornament, new cloth, mangoes and split coconuts.
Folk dances are performed in the streets during Vishu. The dancers dress in skirts made of banana leaves that have dried up and they also wear masks. These dances are performed by young people and they move from one place of the city another. They collect money (in small amounts) as they go around dancing. Firecrackers are named patassu are burst while the dancing takes place.
The menu for the grand feast on Vishu includes all items that taste sweet, sour, bitter and spicy. The dishes pamper different taste buds and they are usually prepared from gourds, mangoes, jackfruits and pumpkins. Mampazhapachadi is a sour dish made of mangoes and a bitter preparation is Veppampoorasam which is made of neem.
People also visit temples to offer prayers to their gods at the start of a new year. Many families donate money and clothes to the poor and needy. It is a happy occasion where you see smiling faces everywhere.
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