Festivals & EventsHappy New Year 2020

Vishu 2019: When is Vishu Sankranti? Date, Timing, Significance and Story of the Malayali New Year

Vishu significance (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

Vishu 2019, the Malayali New Year, will be celebrated in the South Indian state of Kerala on April 15. Vishu is marked as Medam onnu or the first day of Medam, the starting month of the Malayali calendar. The day generally falls on 14 or 15 April of the Gregorian calendar. Unlike Onam, which is a harvest festival, Vishu celebrates the arrival of the New Year. The name “Vishu” comes from the Sanskrit word “Vishuvam,” which means equal day and night. It’s because the festival, which signifies the Sun’s movement into Mesha Rashi (Aries), represents one of the days of the spring or the vernal equinox (where the night as long as the day). Given the auspicious nature of the first day of the year, Vishu is all about new beginnings and Shubh Karya (auspicious deeds). Other states also celebrate their regional New Year around the same time like Vaishaki in Punjab, Bihu in Assam and Poila Boishakh in Bengal.

When is Vishu 2019? Timings, Date and Sankranti

Vishu 2019 will be celebrated in Kerala on April 15. According to the Hindu calendar, it is observed on the first day of Medam, the beginning of the Malayalam year.

According to Prokerala.com, Vishu 2019 sunrise will happen precisely at 6: 18 AM on April 15. The sunset will be at 18: 31 PM, marking the end of the day. The Beautiful Rituals and Traditions of the Malayalam New Year.

The Sankranti time for Vishu 2019, when the sun moves from one zodiac sign to the other, will occur at 14: 31 PM.

What is the Story of Vishu?

There are many mythological tales about Vishu. One tells the story of Narakasura, a demon who was slain by Lord Krishna on Vishu day.

Another one is centred on Surya Deva or the Sun God in Hinduism. It is said that the King of Lanka Ravana didn’t allow Surya to rise from the East. Only after Rama killed Ravana did Surya rise again from the East on Vishu.

What is the Significance of Vishu?

The first sight on Vishu morning will determine how the rest of the year goes. To ensure a prosperous and a happy year, Malayalis wake up to the sight of a Vishu Kani or Vishu Kazhcha on New Year’s dawn.

A display of auspicious things such as gold, fresh produce, grains, money, silk, mirror, a golden spray of flowers, sweets and an idol of Lord Krishna is set up in a room along with lit lamps. Best Places in Mumbai for Authentic Kerala Feast on The Malayalam New Year.

The parents then guide the children by covering their eyes one-by-one to the room where the kani is kept.  Once in front of the kani, they witness the glorious sight in the morning.

The elders in the family then gift new clothes, gold or money to the young ones in the house. A scrumptious lunch or sadhya is then organised.

On Vishu, people exchange greetings, burst crackers, wear new clothes and visit temples to seek blessings of the lord.

Vishu is an important day for Malayalis even though the festival is celebrated without much fanfare. Since it’s the beginning of the New Year, Malayalis focus on everything auspicious on Vishu.