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Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy Vishu / Tamil New Year and Ram navami Wishes!

Happy Vishu

Wish all my friends a very very happy tamil new year, Vishu and Ram navami.
I have been busy since morning.. preparing the special vishu/ Ram navami lunch, which consists of Panagam , parupu koshumbari, Parupu vadai , Sambar, Rasam, Mango rice, Semiya Payasam, Chopped ripe mangoes, Bean podutuval, Plain rice and Neer mor.My camera is giving me some trouble so iam not ablr to upload the snaps. Will do once my camera is fine and will also update the recipes for these items at that time. till them some facts about Ram Navami and Vishu.

Our vishu Special Lunch

Some details about Ram Navami

"Whenever the evil forces reign supreme, the Lord will come to the rescue and set things right. Accordingly Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Universe (according to the Hindu mythology) has taken 9 "Avatars" or incarnations to eradicate the evil forces and establish goodness and prosperity. (Lord Vishnu is yet to take his 10th Avatar - "Kalki). Of these incarnations, the seventh is the Sri Rama Avatar. Sri Rama Navami marks the birth of Lord Rama. From Ugadi for the next 9 days, we celebrate the Vasantha Navarathri. It concludes with Sri Rama Navami. It is celebrated on the day when "Navami" (9th day after the new/full moon day) and the star "Punarvasu" occur together in the Tamil month of "Chitirai". (Sometimes it might fall in the "Panguni" month also). The Hindu tradition has a lot of meaningful practices. The Tamil months Panguni and Chitirai (April & May) are the hottest months of the year in this part of the world. Hence the "Prasadams" offered to God will be directly related to the weather conditions.

For Sri Rama Navami, the "Prasadams" offered are Panakam, Neer Mor (Diluted Buttermilk), Vadai Paruppu and Panchaamirutham. These items are also prepared at the temples and distributed as prasadams to the devotees who come to seek the blessings of God. All the above mentioned foodstuffs can be taken to bring down the body heat. They also make up for the loss of body fluids due to the excessive perspiration. Apart from the above, in olden days, there was a custom to gift hand-made fans to other people. Since there was no electric fans then, to reduce the effect of the heat, these hand-operated fans were very useful during the summer months. It was indeed a thoughtful gesture."

Something about vishu and the Kanni

"Vishu (Malayalam:വിഷു)- (American Vjéshu), (Tamil:வீஷூ) is astronomical new year day festival held in the state of Kerala in South India (and adjoining areas of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu). Similar festivals are celebrated in Punjab and Assam, in India, around the first day in the Hindu month of Medam (April – May). This occasion signifies the Sun's transit to the zodiac Mesha Mesha Raasi (first zodiac sign) as per Indian astrological calculations. Vishu is also considered as the harvest festival of Kerala and thus the importance of this day to all Malayalees. In Assam this day is called Bihu, in Punjab Baisakhi (originally Vaishakhi) and in Tamil Nadu Tamil Puthandu or Vishu punyakalam. The word "Vishu" in Sanskrit means "equal". Therefore Vishu is more probably denoting one of the equinox days.

Although Vishu (first of Medam) is the astronomical new year day of Kerala, the offical Malayalam new year falls on the first month of Chingam (August - September).
The festival is marked with offerings to the divine called Vishukkani. The offerings consist of a ritual arrangement in the
puja room of auspicious articles like raw rice, fresh linen, golden cucumber, betel leaves, arecanut, metal mirror, the yellow flowers konna (Cassia fistula), and a holy text and coins, in a bell metal vessel called uruli. A lighted bell metal lamp called nilavilakku is also placed alongside. This arrangement is completed the previous night. On the day of Vishu, the custom is to wake up at dawn and go to the puja room with the eyes closed so that the Vishukkani is the first sight of the new season. Since the occasion marks the beginning of Malayalam New Year, it is also considered auspicious to read verses from Hindu Holy book Ramayanam after seeing the "Vishukkani". It is also believed by some that the page of the Ramayanam to which you open up will have a bearing on your life in the coming year. Devotees also throng the well-known temples like Sabarimala Ayyappan Temple, Guruvayur Sree Krishna temple to have a "Vishukkani Kazhcha" on the early hours of "Vishu" day."

Our Vishu arrangement

Something about Tamil new Year

"The Tamil Calendar is used in Tamil Nadu in India, and by the Tamil population in Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka. Its use is now largely restricted to cultural and religious events, with the Gregorian calendar having supplanted it for official use both within and outside India. The Tamil months which are now solar sidereal are in fact named after the old lunar asterisms of Sanskrit. Most of the names, however are greatly corrupted versions of the originals as evidenced by names such as purADam, Adi (or ADam), aippasi, puRaTTasi etc., which were drawn from the Sanskrit purvAshADa, aashaaDA, ashvini and purva-bhadra-pada respectively.[1]

There are several festivals based on the Tamil Hindu calendar. The Tamil New Year follows the nirayan vernal equinox and generally falls on April 13 or 14th of the Gregorian year. In 2008 the DMK Government in Tamil Nadu decreed that the Tamil New Year henceforth will coincide with the starting of the month Suravam (Thai) along with the Pongal festival known elsewhere in India as Makara Sankranti. This coincides with commencement of the Sun's northern shift (Vadapeyarchchi). However, April 13 of 14th marks the first day of the traditional Tamil calendar and this remains a public holiday in both Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. Tropical vernal equinox fall around 22 March, and adding 23 degrees of trepidation or oscillation to it, we get the Hindu sidereal or Nirayan Mesha Samkranti (Sun's transition into nirayan Aries). Hence, the Tamil calendar begins with the same date which is observed by most traditional calendars of the rest of India. The 60-year cycle is also very ancient and is observed by most traditional calendars of India and China, and is related to 5 revolutions of Jupiter according to popular belief, or to 60-year orbit of Nakshatras (stars) as mentioned in Surya Siddhanta.

The ancient Tamil people named the 7 days for the 7 celestial bodies as gnayiru, thingal, sevvai, arivan, viyazhan, veLLi and kari. Also Pakkal, a Tamil word was used to indicate "date". Out of the 12 rasis, one rasi hides behind the sun monthly once. The months were named based on the stars shape of the hidden rasi. If it is in the shape of shark fisk (sura meen), then it was named suravam, similarly, kumbam, meenam, mezham, vidai, aadavai, kadakam, madangal, kanni, thuLai, naLi, silai were named."

Our special Vishu lunch... See picture : Beans coconut podituval,Ripe mango pieces, Parupu kosumalli,Mango rice, Semiya payasam, Parupu vadai and plain rice....other items not in picture are panagam, Neer mor, Sambar, Rasam.

Will post all the recipes soon . till then enjoy...!

Have a great time!Enjoy ur day and i hope u have a great year ahead.


Uma said...

Happy New Year to you and your family too. Thanks for such a nice information. We celbrate Sriramanavami today. Of course, I didn't prepare such a yummy thali like you.

Meera said...

Happy New year!
Best wishes

Madhavi said...

Happy New Year to you and your family as well.

Padmaja said...

Belated wishes!! Hope u had a lovely time and that plate of amazing dishes looks so sumptious!!

kamala said...

Belated new year wishes shubha.Meanwhile I would like to send the surprise ingredient of Arusuvai friendship chain.pls reply

SHUBHA said...

A very very very happy new year to all of u... Sorry for the late replies and lagging posts... had been a bit busy wraping up all the vishu kanni items...:)

@ kamala sure kamala i wud love that.... have heard about the arusuvai... but never participated... iam happy to took me in....:)

Swati Raman Garg said...

first time here shubha... and iam stuck like mad... its late nite i want to sleep.. but got to drop a line before that... i had a regret that i didnt velebrate varshaparupu the way it shud b coz i didnt know the details a day before... but seems as if i lived those moments thru ur pics... thanks a ton... and thanks for linking to my page.. this post made my day...this helped me make my punju husband understand how do we celebrate varshaparupu back home..

Kalai said...

Gorgeous spread for new year!! Sorry that I couldn't get here sooner, but am glad that I made it! Am going to check out more of your recipes, too. :)