Vishukkani- beholding the auspicious
Vishu, celebrated on the first day of the Malayalam month of Medom, is considered to be the harvest festival of Kerala. This occasion also signifies the Sun’s transit to the zodiac Mesha as per Indian astrological calculations. However, it is the spirit of an agrarian culture, which throbs with the plenty of the harvest, that dominates the celebrations and rituals related to this festival.
Vishukkani or the viewing of the auspicious objects is an important ritual associated with Vishu festival. It is believed that the first object that one sees in the Vishu morning determines the prosperity to come in the coming year. As a result, people arrange a set of auspicious objects like rice grains, fruits, fresh linen, gold, coconut, Konna flowers, and metal mirror on a sparkling bell metal pan in front of an image of Lord Krishna on the day prior to Vishu. A wick lamp (nilavilakku) will also be lighted.
In the Vishu morning, people behold this ritualistic arrangement and this is called Kani Kaanal (beholding the auspicious). Prayers are offered to the deity and it is believed that the years to come will be as auspicious and plentiful as the Vishukkani is.