Gaiety marks Vishu festival

ABU DHABI — Keralites in the UAE celebrated Vishu yesterday, a festival symbolising prosperity and happiness, with traditional fervour and gaiety.

By Anjana Sankar

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Published: Sat 15 Apr 2006, 10:52 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 5:51 PM

Vishu, which is the Malayali New Year’s Day, started with the traditional Vishukkani (auspicious sight), consisting of deities, fruits and flowers, in most households at the first sight of the day. Friends and family members who joined together for the occasion prepared sumptuous feasts called the traditional ‘sadya’ served in banana leaves.

Shops and supermarkets selling Vishu items, including banana chips, flowers, special vegetables and banana leaves, were packed until late Thursday evening as residents went on a shopping spree to make their Vishu a special occasion. The garment sections of many shopping outlets also witnessed an unprecedented rush, as wearing new clothes are a high point in Vishu celebrations. But children were rather disappointed at not having the chance to burst crackers.

Sooraj Menon, a 11-year-old who has just landed in Abu Dhabi to join his father during his summer vacation, noted: “It was not as exciting as in Kerala because my father said I can’t burst crackers here. I love crackers and during Vishu, we do get a variety of them.”

However, his mother Vijayalakshmi held that it was rather a blessing in disguise as she was not very comfortable with the idea of Sooraj playing with firecrackers. Hotels and restaurants too did brisk business as many families preferred to go for the readymade ‘sadhya’ offered for a handsome price to those toiling in the kitchen on the auspicious day. “There are good Keralite restaurants offering sumptuous food. So why sweat and slog, that too on a Friday,” was the most commonly expressed sentiment among Keralite housewives.

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