Basant or Vasant Panchmi is one of the prominent Indian festivals that celebrates the advent of Spring Season. This festival is also celebrated as Saraswati Puja, an ode to Goddess Saraswati, the deity of wisdom, knowledge or gyan, art, and culture. This auspicious festival is celebrated with a lot of joy, happiness, excitement, and devotion. People get dressed up in yellow, representing the mustard fields of Haryana and Punjab. On this day, children attending the school for the first time are encouraged to write their first words in front of the Goddess Saraswati Pooja.
Although there are lots of stories about Basant Panchmi and why it is celebrated, one story that finds a lot of credence is about Kalidasa, the famos poet. As the legend goes, when Kalidasa was spurned by his wife, he decided to put an end to his misery and commit suicide. He decided to jump in a river and end his life by drowning. As he was about to jump, Goddess Saraswati emerged from the river and blessed him with immense wisdom. He went on to become a famous poet.
India is a country that symbolizes culture, peace, and a bond of togetherness among its citizens and this has been the Indian way of living since ancient times. Our cultural values and age-old traditions have been proof of that. And apart from these traditions, and age-old rituals, ours is also a country where festivals celebrate the glory of nature, one such Indian festival being Basant Panchami.
Celebrated as Sri Panchami in southern states (where Sri refers to one aspect of divinity), Saraswati Puja in eastern regions, and Basant Panchami in Northern parts of the country, this festival is all about celebrating the beginning of the spring season. Basant Panchami aka Vasant Panchami is an Indian festival that, according to the Hindu calendar, falls on the fifth day of Magha mass (month). With the onset of Basant Panchami, people also start their preparations for the festival of Holi which comes after 40 days of Vasant Panchami's celebrations.
Depending upon the region, people tend to celebrate Basant Panchami in various ways. For instance, several Hindus honor Goddess Saraswati on this pious occasion who is considered as the creative energy and power in its raw form. According to Hindu beliefs, Goddess Saraswati - the symbol of craft, learning, knowledge, and art was born on this very day. This is the reason why at several places Goddess Saraswati is worshiped.
Basant Panchmi is celebrated on the fifth day of Magh month as per Hindu calendar and as such its date keep varying every year. Basant Panchmi is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and joy and the whole country witnesses special celebrations. Kite flying is a special attraction this day signifying joy to mark the arrival of the Spring season. People wear yellow clothes, cook special dishes, exchange sweets, and decorate their homes with yellow colour.
Basant Panchmi, the festival of wisdom and knowledge is celebrated with a lot of exuberance all over the country, gearing up for special celebrations. The markets, homes, and institutions are decked up in yellow and the azure sky is peppered with colourful kites. Here are some of the major attractions of the festival in different parts of the country.
In Punjab and Haryana, people celebrate the spirit of this festival by flying kites. In households, the womenfolk prepare delicious delicacies like Meethe Chawal, Makki ki roti, and Sarso ka saag.
In Bengal, the people observe Saraswati Puja. On this day, it is the children, who arrange and do all the preparations for the puja rituals. Once the puja is done, they go out to enjoy themselves with their families. Even the schools, colleges, and other institutions celebrate the festival by conducting Saraswati Puja. The womenfolk usually wear yellow sarees whereas the men don yellow dhotis, and pajamas. Along with this, the people also prepare various delicacies and sweets like rajbhog and payesh.
On the occasion of Basant Panchami in Odisha, people offer fresh yellow-colored flowers to Goddess Saraswati in temples.
In Assam, the rituals and traditions associated with Basant Panchami are conducted in the morning hours. People usually get up early and do all the cleaning work and other household chores, especially cleaning the shrine area of their homes. After all the cleaning work is done, people wear new clothes and gather together to pray.
Ques 1. Why is Basant Panchmi celebrated?
Ans 1. Basant or Vasant Panchmi is one of the prominent Indian festivals that celebrates the advent of Spring Season. This festival is also celebrated as Saraswati Puja, an ode to Goddess Saraswati, the deity of wisdom, knowledge or gyan, art, and culture.
Ques 2. When is Basant Panchmi celebrated?
Ans 2. Basant Panchmi is celebrated on the fifth day of Magh month as per Hindu calendar and as such its date keep varying every year.
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