The significance of the mirror in Vishu Kani is to see yourself as a reminder that you are also equally important.
Once upon a time, there was a demon named Ravana who was annoyed with Surya (the sun) for rising from the east. This direction caused the sun's rays to fall directly on his palace... without his permission. (The nerve!) Ravana viewed the intense heat produced by Surya as arrogance.
So, Ravan decided to wage war with Surya. Out of fear, Surya agreed to not shine on Ravana's palace anymore. This caused havoc in nature.
Crops were damaged.
Food became scarce.
People lived in darkness.
That is... until Lord Rama came to their rescue. Once Rama defeated Ravana, in their epic Ramayan battle, Surya began rising from the east again.
It is believed that people celebrate Vishu in remembrance of this day.
Vishu is the new year celebrated by Hindu Malayalis in Kerala and globally. Vishnu and His incarnation Krishna are worshipped on this day since He's considered to be the God of Time.
It is marked by 3 key elements:
(1) Vishu Kani - the first thing you see
(2) Vishu Paddakam - firecrackers
(3) Vishu Sadhya - a traditional feast
Vishu Kani is regarded as the symbol of good luck and prosperity by all Hindu Malayalis.
"Vishu Kani" means "the first thing to be seen at dawn" and is meant to bring luck in the New Year.
These auspicious items are needed for Vishu Kani:
- Krishna idol
- Uruli - a large vessel
- Tamboolam - Betel leaves
- Akshatam – a mixture of rice and turmeric
- Dharu cheppu – Kumukumam in a small container
- Grantham – Book usually Bhagavad Gita
- Darpanam – Mirror
- Ambaram – Cloth – A nice clean traditional Kerala mundu
- Kramugam - Betel nut
On the day of Vishu, the entire family wakes up at dawn and enter their Puja room so that the first thing they see is Vishu Kani. After seeing the Vishu Kani, they recite verses from Ramayana.