15 Feb.: Today is Basant Panchami and Saraswati Puja
- Basant Panchami
When: Friday, 15th February 2013
During Basant Panchami you will be enthralled by the visual treat of
nature that surrounds the whole country. The fields are loaded with yellow
mustard and the whole country is delightfully decorated in different shades
of yellow flowers and ribbons.
Basant Panchami also known as Vasant Panchami marks the beginning of
spring season. It falls on the fifth day of Maagh (the Indian month). In
Hindi language the word 'Basant/Vasant' means spring and 'Panchami' means
the fifth day.
Although Basant Panchami festival is celebrated all over India, the
festivities in Punjab are unique and worth attending.
Significance of Basant Panchami
Apart from marking the beginning of the spring season the festival of
Basant Panchami is also known as the birthday of Goddess Saraswati, Lord
Brahma's wife. According to the Hindu mythology Goddess Saraswati symbolizes
constant flow of knowledge, wisdom and learning. Therefore, the festival is
especially celebrated in all institutions of learning. Students observe the
blessings from Maa Saraswati on this day.
Vasant Panchami Celebrations
This festival of spring is celebrated with great fervour and joy
amongst Hindus. Basant Panchami tradition includes wearing traditional
yellow colour clothes, cooking sweet saffron rice and visiting friends and
relatives to distribute sweets and gifts.
You will see the pure, bright and sunny yellow colour dominating the
whole country on this particular day. The Basant Panchami celebrations also
comprise an elaborate puja of Goddess Saraswati who is worshipped with full
People also feed Brahmans on Vasant Panchami believing that their
ancestors are accepting the food. The occasion is also celebrated by flying
kites and merrymaking.
Vasant Panchami, sometimes referred to as Saraswati Puja or Shree Panchami,
is a festival. On this day Hindus worship Saraswati, the goddess of
knowledge, music, art and culture.
Vasant Panchami has a specific meaning, Vasant means spring, whereas
Panchami means the fifth day. And Vasant Panchami falls on the fifth day of
Traditionally during this festival children are taught to write their first
words; Brahmins are invited for lunch; ancestor worship (Pitr-tarpan) is
performed; the god of love Kamadeva is worshipped; and most educational
institutions organize special prayer or puja for Saraswati.
The color yellow also plays an important role in this festival. People
usually wear yellow garments, Saraswati is worshiped in a yellow dress, and
yellow sweets are consumed within the families.