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  • Writer's pictureDe Kochi

Kanikkonna, Flower for Vishu Festival

Cassia fistula

Cassia fistula, known as the golden rain tree / golden shower tree, canafistula and by other names, is a flowering plant in the family Fabaceae. Cassia fistula or the golden shower tree is the state flower of Kerala in India. In Kerala, Golden Rain Flower is known as Kanikkonna.

Kanikkonna and Vishu

The flowers (Kanikkonna) are of ritual importance in the Vishu festival of Kerala. Vishu is the Hindu new year festival celebrated in the Indian state of Kerala and nearby Tulunadu region of Coastal Karnataka.

Kanikkonna-Flower for Vishu Festival - Kerala-Golden Rain Flower-Cassia-fistula-Flower

Golden Rain Flower – Kanikkonna

The festival follows the solar cycle of the lunisolar Hindu calendar as the first day of month called Medam. It therefore always falls in the middle of April in the Gregorian calendar on or about 14 April every year. Vishu literally means equal, and in the festival context it connotes the completion of spring equinox.

Vishu Kani

The festival is marked by family time, preparing colorful auspicious items and viewing these as the first thing (Vishu Kani) on the Vishu day. In particular, Malayali Hindus seek to view the golden blossoms of the Golden Rain Flower (Kanikkonna), money or silver items (Vishukkaineetam), and rice. Golden Rain Flower (Kanikkonna) is the main item in Vishu Kani.

Cassia fistula and Ayurveda

In Ayurveda medicine, the golden shower tree is known as aragvadha, meaning “disease killer”. The fruit pulp is considered a purgative, and self-medication or any use without medical supervision is strongly advised against in Ayurveda texts.


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