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18 Apr 2010

Vishu: Happy New Year

Even as kids, my brother and I loved this festival. The astrological new year for Malayalis/Keralites. It did not matter that we had to be up by 4AM (nowadays it's 5AM) and were not allowed to go back to sleep. We loved the Vishukanni arrangement that dad painstakingly set up the previous night. We loved the money even more. 

As part of tradition, we wake up early in the morning and walk to the pooja room with our eyes closed (dad brings each one of us to the pooja room). We open our eyes to see the Vishukanni first thing in the morning. Then we wait patiently while dad lights the lamp, does a little pooja and then distributes coconut, jaggery and some money placed on a couple of betel leaves with a couple of betel nuts (kaineetam). Mum says when she was young, her parents used to give her anything between 25 paise to a rupee. We started off with Rs. 20 as children and now dad gives us Rs. 500 each. Mum gives us a 100 bucks because she is "not earning". Bro gets an additional 500 from me because I'm elder to him. Anyone who visits us today get something (usually a tenner).

Here are some pictures of our Vishu this year. Oh yea, I made 610 bucks (10 from granny).
Dad lights the lamp & gets the kaineetam sorted
Dad gets kaineetam from his mother
For accurate details on the significance of this festival, go to wikipedia or click here.

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