Vishu is a festival specific to Kerala and to Malayalees, and it symbolizes the age-old bond with Nature. The highlights of Vishu are known as Vishukkani and Vishukkaineettam.
As part of this year’s upcoming festival of Vishu, Amma has launched two initiatives to help foster love for nature in the hearts of the younger generations, and to teach them to protect and preserve nature. These initiatives are known as Vrukshakkani and Vishuthaineettam, as they augment the existing highlights of Vishu.
Vishukkani is the first darshan (sight) the members of each household will have after waking up on the day of Vishu. A picture of Lord Sri Krishna and an abundant display of fruits and vegetables form the main part of the Vishukkani. Traditionally, the parents blindfold the children or cover their eyes and lead them in front of the Vishukkani altar, to guarantee that this is the first thing they see on Vishu. This year, Amma is asking everyone to add one more item to the Vishukkani altar: a few seedlings of any tree or vegetable—hence the name Vrukshakkani.
The tradition of Vishukkaineettam is a gift, usually money, which the elders give to the young members of the family on that day. But this year, Amma is asking the elders to gift the seedlings kept in the Vishukkani to the younger ones so that they will plant it and nurture them. This will be known as Vishuthaineettam.
This is a special moment in the history of Vishu. If enough people would incorporate these new traditions, it will allow the festival of Vishu to help imprint a deep bond with and love and concern for nature in the coming generations. This kind of fundamental shift in humanity’s attitude toward nature (from exploitation to loving protection) is essential in order to preserve nature’s harmony and a safe place for human beings to call home.
This years Vishu falls on 15th April.