It’s the New Year. Well it is here in Kerala and more specifically for Hindus in Kerala. It’s called Vishu.
It is celebrated with a traditional lunch called a Sadya, a feast of up to 16 dishes which consist of equal proportions of salty, sweet, sour and bitter items. Oh yes, the traditional Ayurvedic breakdown of tastes is still intact.
Compare it to Christmas in the west. Would you know many tastes are in the Christmas turkey dinner? Of course not. You should want to be sure your mum hasn’t cooked the Brussels to mush.
Like Christmas, new clothes are bought for the occasion and significantly it is essential to give a gift of money on the day. The money can be as simple as a one-rupee coin (72 Indian rupees = 1 euro).
But the really significant part of the festival is the Vishukkani, literally the first things you see when you waken up on Vishu day. And so late tonight when all guest have gone to bed the RR staff will gather at the entrance and place decorations of vegetables, crushed rice, one new traditional cotton garment for men called a dhoti, some coins and flowers. All of these decorations (note: all natural decorations…no tinsel here) around a statue of Lord Krishna lit by the traditional Kerala lamp.
These rituals are important to us in RR. They’re important as a mark of respect to our Kerala staff, to the wider community and to you are our guests who may have chosen to stay here because we are a heritage hotel. It is part of our happy duty to do our part to keep that heritage alive.