If Onam is the number one festival of Keralites, Vishu takes the second spot. It comes on the first day of the Malayalam month Medam (April), which is also the Spring Equinox, when the duration of day and night are equal.
On the day of Vishu, seeing the Vishukanni (offerings placed in prayers rooms at homes and and in front of deities in temples) as the first thing in the morning is believed to be the harbinger of the year’s prosperity and good luck. The offerings comprise flowers of golden shower (kani konna) tree, vegetables, fruits, traditional lamp, metal mirrors, coins, rice, holy text etc. placed inside a metal vessel called uruli. A lighted bell metal lamp called nilavilakku is also placed alongside. Giving of handsel (kaineettam) by an elderly person in the family to younger members is an integral part of the celebrations.