Blossoming Traditions

Joy of Spring in Indian states

God's Own Country

Lying in the southern shore of India, is Kerala. Having its administrative capital in Trivandrum, business capital in Cochin and cultural capital in Trichur, Kerala is a state with diversified culture, food and beliefs.

Spring

Spring here isn't breezy; it is humid, filled with blossoms...

Ixora, Jasmine, Lavender, Hibiscus and 'Kani-Konna'.

Festivals

1. The most popular festival during spring is Vishu, arrives at 14th or 15th April, a traditional sowing festival to welcome a new year. The day is started by seeing Vishukanni, first thing in the morning, that includes harvest crops, 'kani-konna' (cassia fistula) and coins..... (as a celebration for the blossomed and well grown crops)

People burst fire crackers and play 'panthu', or ball. Sometimes people dance wearing masks and banana leaf skirts, drumming the 'chandas'

2. Ponkalla, formerly celebrated by Hindus, but by all today; when women offer prayers to Goddess Durga and cook sweetened rice. (as a gratitude for the rice grown in spring)


Vishu Ashamsakal : A Day in the Life of Kerala

Yummy Vishu!

Rice & Tapioca are staple, with side dishes and gravies. Coconuts form a prime ingredient in its culinary. 'Paal Paayasam' (Milk Kheer) is a delicacy served during Vishu & Ponkaala. It is served in banana leaves and in courses.

Vishu Attire

Traditional attire includes 'mundu neriyathu' (white sari) for women and 'mundu chatta' (dhoti) for men. However, the style varies as per customs and urbanization. There are no special styles for spring.

Spring in other states

1. Tamil Nadu - Puthandu, a new year and harvest time, where people decorate their houses, where sarees, burst crackers and prepare food feasts.(similar to vishu & ponkalla).

2. Karnataka - 'Bisu' is celebrated by Tuluvas the similar way as Vishu.

3. Punjab - 'Vaisakhi', start of sowing; celebrated by decorating houses and singing & dancing and wearing traditional clothes. (Similar to Vishu)

4. Assam - Bohag Bihu, start of new year celebrated by cooking rice dishes and dancing. (similar to Vishu & Ponkalla)

5. Orissa + Andhra Pradesh+Karnataka - Sankranti, new year, which is celebrated by praying to Goddesss Durga (similar to Ponkalla)

*6. PONGAL, TAMILNADU does not arrive at the same date but is celebrated in a similar way to Puthandu.