Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Last flowers

Having begun its flowering season in early April, the Indian laburnum (cassia fistula) is well past its best-looking days by this time. The first blooms of this flower coincide with Vishu, the new year / harvest festival of Kerala (the neighbour state, to the west). Traditionally, these blooms are arranged, along with fruits, rice, clothes, ornaments and images of Gods and Godesses, to be the Vishukani (first sight of Vishu), signifying a bountiful year ahead. Keralites everywhere attempt to re-create the Vishukani with locally available flowers; but those in Chennai are lucky to have the laburnum in good numbers across the city.

By early June, the trees are no longer the 'golden showers' they were a few weeks ago. The leaves have turned back to green from the yellow of April; the flowers are far fewer. And by the end of June they go back to their relative anonymity, waiting for nine months to bring forth the next episode of a dazzling life!



4 comments:

Ottayan said...

I couldn't find any this Vishu.

Sometimes I don't, sometimes I do said...

>> Ottayan>> :( Obviously market forces at work - all of them would have been plucked and packed...

Melissa Enderle said...

Ah, the beauties of spring! I love brightly colored blossoms, so delicate and fleeting. Soon I will be joining you in Chennai.

Sometimes I don't, sometimes I do said...

>> Melissa>> Welcome to Chennai! I'm sure you'll find a lot of material for your travel blog!!