A Festival of New Beginnings
Excitement and energy courses through Kerala, India as you see the blooming yellow flowers known as Konna sweeping across the lush landscape. The Konna flower, with its delicate fragrance and cheerful demeanor, fills the air with joy signaling the arrival of Spring. From the river to the mountains, households are filled with delight that Vishu, the celebration of the New Year, is fast approaching. The festival of Vishu represents the bond between man and nature, symbolizing how we are intertwined so intimately. Vishu takes place on the first day of Spring, and it is an opportunity to reset, and embark on new hopes and aspirations. As people eagerly await the festival, most take this time to organize, clean and prepare for a fresh start. More importantly, it is a day spent with gratitude and appreciation for all that is given to you by this world.
The night before, aromas of spices waft through the house, hinting at what to expect in the feast ahead, while loved ones gather to carefully prepare the traditional arrangement for the ceremony of Vishukanni. Large copper plates filled with rice, fruits, holy texts, coins and the beloved Konna blooms are organized in a colorful display surrounded with the glow of Indian oil lamps. The festivities begin with the most significant ritual, the tradition of Vishukkani, which means the “first sight seen upon waking up”. It is believed that what you first lay your eyes on this day influences prosperity and success in the coming year. Upon awakening, each member of the family, with their eyes closed, slowly makes their way to view the auspicious arrangement.
Family and friends arrive adorned in their finest garb to partake in the celebrations of the day. Laughter and chatter enter the room as elders in the family give gifts of money to children and sit down to enjoy a meal, known as Sadhya. A feast of vegetarian local delights that with a finale of milk desserts with hints of fresh coconut. Families share these meals with those less fortunate to share the abundance of nature.
You may not be in India celebrating Vishu, but this is the time of year we should all take a moment to appreciate the significance of this new beginning symbolizing a season of rebirth and rejuvenation. Use this opportunity as a fresh start by doing little things we are mindful of during Vishu. Take the time to organize, clean, and think of what you want your life to be like in the next few months. Consider all the countless blessing that you currently have and be grateful. It is especially important to find ways to reconnect with nature. For those of us living in big cities it is easy to lose this connection. You will see these slight changes will make you feel more energetic and appreciate life in its totality. Be present and celebrate the little moments.
Allow yourself to take in the energy of the season and reset!
Love + Light