The middle of April is a very festive period in India – commemorating the arrival of the new year in many parts of the country.
The same day is observed by Hindus as Vishu (വിഷു) in Kerala, as Tamil Puthandu (தமிழ்புத்தாண்டு), also known as Puthuvarusham or Tamil New Year in Tamilnadu, and Vaisakhi in central and north India.
The festival date is set with the solar cycle of the lunisolar Hindu calendar, as the first day of the Tamil month Chithirai. In Kerala, it follows the solar cycle of the lunisolar as the first day of month called Medam. It therefore almost always falls on or about 14 April every year on the Gregorian calendar.
The day attracts firework play by children, wearing new clothes, and the eating a special meal called Sadya, a feast consisting of a variety of traditional vegetarian dishes (which is a mix of salty, sweet, sour and bitter items) usually served on a banana leaf in Kerala, India.
Vishu is a major festival at the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple. During this auspicious festival, devotees receive a coin from the temple priest, referred to as a Kaineetam.
At Ayyappa Samaaj, we have been celebrating Vishu in a very grand manner over the last many years. There are usually two events commemorating Vishu
- Religious function – with Vishukkani, Abhishekam, Thalapoli, Bhajans, Kaineetam, and a Maha Prasadam
- Cultural festival – with a Grand Sadya and cultural programs by local children