Vishu is one of the most popular South Indian festivals and it is widely celebrated inKerala and Tamil Nadu. It is the traditional New Year for the residents of these states. The people living in this region speak Malayalam language, it is also known as the Malayalam New Year.
According to the Indian astrological calculations, the Vishu festival day signifies the Sun’s transit to zodiac MeshaRashi. Astronomically, this festival represents Vernal Equinox. Therefore, the Vishu day is considered to be denoting one of the vernal equinox days.
The first day of the month Medam is marked as the Vishu day. This is the Vishu festival date which generally falls on April 14th. Vishu can also be referred as the South Indian Baisakhi, Bihu or Puthandu, because similar occasions are celebrated in other parts of India, on the same date.
Baisakhi in Punjab, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu and Bihu in Assam are all celebrated on the day of Vishu festival.This year, the Vishu festival 2017 will be celebrated on 14th of April. Last year Vishu was on 15th of April.
Keralities celebrate this day as Vishu, which is considered as the new beginning and auspicious day, and celebrate it traditionally with colourful rituals and customs, accompanied by joy and merriment.
Vishu is more or less astrological favouring occasion and less of a religious occasion. The official Malayalam New Year falls on the first month of Chingam, in the months of August and September.
Althiough, Vishu festival has more importance than Chingam, as it has no astrological or astronomical value. Traditional Vishu festival is especially observed in the parts of central and northern areas ofKerala.
Hence Vishu is celebrated as New Year. It is a symbol of good luck, hope and prosperity.