Vishu, a public holiday in the Indian state of Kerala, is the traditional new year festival of the people of the region. The date is based on a partially lunar, partially solar calendar and is the first day of the month called “Medam”.
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On the Gregorian Calendar, it typically falls on 14 April, but always sometime in mid-April. It is meant to coincide with the Spring Equinox, more or less.
On Vishu, the mood is rather solemn. It is a time to spend with family at home and a time of reflection on the year behind and the year ahead.
A special Vishu arrangement is made that includes specially made or collected items that are meant to be viewed first thing on the morning of the new year. These items might be flower blossoms, silver coins, rice, or anything else thought to bring good luck for the year ahead.
Also on Vishu, many will eat a “Sadhya meal”, which mixes all flavours together in one. The saltiness, sweetness, sour, and bitter tastes represent the varied experiences of life.
Wearing new clothes, kids playing with firecrackers, and devotees visiting temples dedicated to Krishna early in the morning, are additional Vishu traditions.