Punnamada Resort has always walked the extra mile to offer tourists rich glimpses of the pristine culture of Kerala. With the advent of the Malyalam month of Medam, preparations for ‘Vishu’ celebrations are in full swing. Punnamada too has geared itself up for the day which is believed to usher in salubrity, longevity and prosperity.
Punnamada’s guests will get the opportunity to experience the entire Malayali festivity from close quarters and also can blend themselves in seamlessly with the soul of Vishu by donning traditional attire and partaking in the celebrations. No stone has been left unturned to ensure that the guests can enjoy themselves optimally with festive fervour.
The auspicious day will be preceded by the preparation of ‘Vishu Kani’. ‘Kani’ implies the object which must cross your sight first at the day’s start. The onus of preparing the Kani rests on the households’ women folk who get up in wee hours of the morning, take a bath and gets down to assemble the Kani in the room set aside for worshipping the deities. Prior to that, the presiding deities of the house are offered flowers to appease them. A table is then placed before the sanctum sanctorum and is heaped with items that one would prefer to set his/ her sight on as soon as morning dawns. Kani may consist of a potpourri of items, prominent among them being cucumber or vellari, fruits, coconuts, gilded bling, gold items, jewelry and a mirror. The Kani will not be completed unless the table is decked up with golden hued Konna tree flowers. The flowers have traditionally been used by poor people as a substitute for real gold which had been beyond their purchasing capacity. Finally, before the house lady wakes up other members, a traditional oil lamp is lit and placed. Punnamada resort’s guests would be wakened up from their slumber and guided to the Kani room by ladies in traditional costumes covering the guests’ eyes with palms. As one bats his/ her eyelids, one of the most magnificent sights greets them. After seeing the Kani, one would proceed to take bath to brace for the next surprise of Vishu, the ‘Kaineettam’. Fire crackers are also burst to give vent to the jubilation. Competition of bursting crackers is arranged which is joined in by both adults and youngsters.
After bathing, guests will be given ‘Kodi Vastram’ or new clothes to drape themselves in. The guest partly would be led to the nearby temple to pray to God and seek his blessings. Alongside, preparations for the traditional feast would be underway for serving palatable recipes to the guests.
Kaineettam involves handing out money to the youngsters so that they can enjoy the day as they wish. Lads in skimpy clothing putting on a ‘thortu’ or loincloth invade the houses in the neighbourhood and are gifted with money. Kaineettam deviates from the spiritual aspect of Vishu and stresses on the material facet of life. Money is circulated with the implicit belief that sharing wealth allows it to amplify abundantly. Not only children, adolescents and women too eagerly look forward to receiving Kaineettam from the elders of the house. Young folk would also seek the blessings of the elders by reverently touching their feet. In the disguise of Vishu celebrations, Kaineettam serves to strengthen the familial bonds that hold the members together and shields them from the harshness of the extraneous elements. Tender feelings of love and harmony are fostered while gifting the young members with coins. Guests can commune with the unadulterated emotions of the occasion by witnessing the entire incident from close quarters. The symbolism of Kaineettam extends beyond Vishu day and is incumbent on all of us to reconcile differences and come together to work concertedly to usher in prosperity in our households.
Punnamda management has made elaborate arrangements to celebrate the splendour of Vishu with its esteemed guests and make the traditional fervour palpably hang in the air. Best chefs in the region have been invited to cook scrumptious regional delicacies so as to thrill the palate of the guests. Symbolic thanksgiving will be celebrated amidst an agrarian community to let guests sniff in the aroma of the cultural richness that characterize Vishu.