Vishu is a Hindu festival celebrated by the people of Kerala, in the Tulu Nadu region of Karnataka, Mahe district of Pondicherry, and some districts in Tamil Nadu. Vishu is celebrated and observed to mark the first day of the Medam, the ninth month according to the Malayalam calendar. Vishu is celebrated in the second week of April and usually falls on the 14th or 15th. This year, Vishu will be celebrated on the 15th of April. Vishu is declared a regional holiday in Kerala. It is believed that the Malayalam calendar, which is also known as Kolla Varsham, has been in place since CE 825.
Vishu has been celebrated in Kerala since 844 AD during the reign of Sthanu Ravi. It is believed that it was on this day (of Vishu) when Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasura.
Lord Krishna who was the incarnation of Lord Vishnu is worshipped on the occasion of Vishu and his idol is placed in Vishu Kani. Devotees also offer prayers to Lord Vishnu.
Vishu is celebrated to mark the onset of spring and harvest season in the country. It also marks the triumph of Lord Krishna over the demon Narakasura.
One of the most significant events of Vishu is seeing the Vishu Kani. People observing and celebrating the festival see Vishu Kani as the first thing during dawn. It is said that the sighting of Vishu Kani can make the entire year better and bring good luck to people.
The children and other members of the family are blindfolded and are brought to the altar to see Vishu Kani and the decorations. Vishu Kani is prepared from items like rice, golden cucumber, jackfruit, coins, currency notes, and an image of Lord Vishnu to name a few.
Children often burst crackers on the occasion of Vishu. People also see the laburnum tree first thing in the morning while making offerings. Feasts are then prepared and the festival is celebrated with other family members and neighbours.