Malayalees across the world celebrated Vishu, the harvest festival. It also marked the beginning of the new year, according to the Malayalam calendar.
The main highlight of the festival is the “vishukani,” where every one opens their eyes to a platter of freshly harvested rice, coconut, vegetables and fruits, new linen, gold, currencies and coins arranged in front of their favourite deity at dawn.
Another highlight of Vishu is the giving away of “Vishukaineetam.” The general custom is the head of the household gives coins as gift to younger members of the family and other dependents.
After the vishu Kani , many in Kerala began the day by visiting temples. Huge crowds were witnessed at Sabarimala temple, Guruvayur Sri Krishna temple and the Padmanabhaswamy Temple in capital Thiruvananthapuram.
Women were dressed in the traditional “kasuvu” saree and men in dhoti.
An important feature of Vishu is the 26 course traditional lunch served on a plantain leaf. One significant difference is while in the central and southern districts the lunch is purely a vegetarian one, the fare in northern districts includes non-vegetarian.