Festivals Of India Posted on April 14, 2011 by admin In the South of India, the year begins in mid-April of the Gregorian calendar usually 14th of April. The new year – Varusha Pirappu in Tamil – is ushered in with pooja, sweets and a special mango pachadi which embodies all the five flavours of sweet, salt, sour, bitter and chilli spice. This symbolises our prayer for the year ahead – we pray for the strength and the equanimity to deal with all that comes our way – the good, the sad, the happy and the worrisome. In Kerala, it is celebrated as Vishu. ‘Vishu’ in Sanskrit means ‘equal’ and refers to one of the days of the vernal equinox. The most important part of this celebration is the Vishukkani – a viewing of the items of prosperity – grain, fruits, flowers, vegetables, gold, etc. – in front of a mirror. It is considered auspicious for everyone to rise at dawn and enter the pooja room with eyes closed and view the kani placed there – the first thing to be seen in the morning. As per Malayalam Calendar, Malayalam new year starts on the first month of Chingam (which comes in August). However people of Malabar and Cochin (i.e., Trichur and north-western Ernakulam) considers Vishu as astrological new year and Vishu Kani will bring luck and prosperity for full year starting from Vishu Day Medam 1st. Similar festivals are celebrated in Punjab and Assam. In Assam this day is called Bihu, in Punjab Baisakhi (originally Vaishakhi), Tuluvas celebrate Bisu on the same day.