Thiruvananthapuram: Hindus across Kerala celebrated Vishu or the traditional new year on Sunday and prayed for good luck and fortune for the coming year.
Before visiting temples, families began their day with the 'Vishukani darshan' or looking at deities the first thing in the morning, which is arranged the previous night.
On Vishu, the puja room is decked up with a special vessel (urali) containing cucumber, pumpkin, coconut, plantains, mangoes, pineapples, rice, grains and arecanut, which is kept in front of their favourite deities. Bright yellow konna flowers are also kept next to the vessel.
Elders of the household first witness the 'Vishukani darshan' following which the others are brought to the puja room with their eyes closed. Another important event of the day is the giving away of 'vishukaineetam' (gift) which is generally in the form of coins.
One of the most awaited moment of the day is the special Vishu lunch which is a 26 course vegetarian meal served on a banana leaf. Of Kerala's 33 million population, Hindus are accounted for more than 50 per cent.