A good beginning is always considered very important in every culture of the world. Vishu is the other name of the Malayalam New Year. Kerala New Year falls on the day when the Sun enters the first zodiac sign namely Aries. Vishu thus falls on the first Nakshatra of the zodiac sign namely Ashwini. The other versions of New Year like Gudi Padwa, Ugadi, Bihu and Baisakhi are all celebrated around the same time. Vishu Kani refers to a holy set up done on the day of Vishu which is to be sighted first by every family member to make the year beginning a blessed and lucky one.
Vishu Kani is usually arranged by the Mother of the family in the puja room of the household the previous night. The different components of Vishu Kani are some auspicious items like the image of Lord Vishnu, fruits, vegetables and flowers. The set up will also have new clothes and gold coins. A flower called as Kanikonna which is in golden yellow colour is elaborately used for decorating the puja room on this day. This flower is said to represent the sun god or the eyes of Lord Vishnu. On this day, gifts, wealth, gold and money are freely distributed among the members of the household by the elders.
The first sight
The mother or grandmother who prepares the Vishu Kani will sleep in the puja room after setting it up. In the morning, she would light the lamp as part of this setup and then visit each of the rooms of the house waking up the members. She would cover the eyes of every member, lead them to the puja room, and provide the first sight of the Vishu Kani to mark an auspicious year beginning.