As several Indian communities marked a low-key celebration of their harvest festival around the world this week, initiatives were taken to ensure decades-old traditions were followed without violating COVID-19 measures. In one such attempt, a restaurant in Dubai decided to hand out the traditional vegetarian feast called 'sadhya' to 1,000 Keralites for the Vishu festival.
According to a Dubai-based English Daily, the free ‘sadhya’ could be taken by people who are in need of the Uppum Mulakum restaurant in Karama from 1:00pm to 3:00pm (local time). Speaking to Gulf News, the restaurant owner said that they don't want anyone to miss the Vishu 'sadhya' and anyone who needs it can collect the kit from the eatery during the prescribed time.
The restaurant has reportedly served over 4,000 meals through the free lunch initiative during the ongoing sterilisation campaign. The Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management had decided on April 4 that Individuals will be permitted to leave home only for essential purposes. Temples and other religious places remained closed in India as well on the occasion of Vishu as the country is going through the 21-day lockdown period which has been extended to May 3.
The Vishu Kani festival is celebrated in the state of Kerala which marks the beginning of Zodiac New Year. It is referred to as Vishu only in the state of Kerala, but the festival is celebrated with vigour in all parts of the country with different names. It is called as Bihu in Assam, Baisakhi in Punjab and Poila Boishakh in Bengal.
The festival holds special significance for Keralites as, according to astrology, the Sun enters Ashwini nakshatra marking the new year. Lord Vishnu and his avatar Lord Krishna are worshipped on this day because Vishnu is considered as the god of time. It is believed that Lord Vishnu’s avatar Lord Krishna killed the demon Narakasura on this day so Krishna is also worshipped on this day.
(With agency inputs)