With the onset of the spring season, it is time to celebrate the auspicious Vasant Panchami or Basant Panchami. As per the Hindu calendar, this popular festival falls on the fifth day of the Shukla Paksha of the month of Magha every year. According to the Gregorian calendar, this corresponds to January and February. Vasant Panchami 2021 will be celebrated on 16th February 2021.
The auspicious occasion of Vasant Panchami marks the beginning of the spring season. For most Hindus, the festival of Vasant Panchami is dedicated to the divine Goddess Saraswati. She is recognised as the Goddess of knowledge, wisdom, learning, arts, and music. It is a common belief that without Goddess Saraswati, the world would have been veiled in ignorance. The divine Goddess is the representation of knowledge and enlightenment. Goddess Saraswati also symbolises creative energy in all its forms.
It is a traditional belief that Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge and learning, was born on this day. According to Hindu Mythology, it is also believed that Lord Brahma created the universe of this day. Vasant Panchami or Basant Panchami is celebrated in different ways by people in India. The Eastern parts of India, especially West Bengal, predominantly celebrate this day as Saraswati Puja. In North India, especially Punjab, this occasion is celebrated as the festival of kites. Saraswati Puja is also celebrated in many educational institutes in Northern India. In South India, it is mostly a temple festival. In the Indian state of Rajasthan, it is customary for people to wear garlands of Jasmine flowers on this day. As Goddess Saraswati is regarded as the benefactor of all arts, many Sikhs and Buddhists also worship Goddess Saraswati.
As mentioned earlier, Vasant Panchami marks the beginning of the spring season, when the mustard flowers bloom. The colour ‘yellow’, which is the colour of the mustard flowers, is closely associated with this festival. Yellow is seen as the colour of this day as it symbolises the arrival of spring. The colour yellow also signifies nature and life’s positive energy.
On this particular occasion, people wear yellow-coloured clothes. Goddess Saraswati’s idols are adorned in yellow sarees as devotees believe yellow to be one of her favourite colours. Worshipping Goddess Saraswati with turmeric (Haldi) has a major significance on this day. On this day, people also prefer to eat food that is yellow, for example- khichdi. Additionally, the yellow colour is also indicative of the crop that is ready to be harvested; hence, this colour becomes an indication of prosperity. This colour and the day, thus, also becomes crucial for agriculture.
As per the customs, Goddess Saraswati is worshipped on this day. This becomes an important day for students and people associated with the field of music, literature, arts, education, etc. This is also a good occasion for people to start giving first lessons of education to their young children. Children, who are initiated into learning and education, write their first characters on this day.
Let’s get to know a little about Vasant Panchami Puja viddhi or method.
Wake up in the morning and take a bath. After bathing, wear clean clothes.
Clean the place of worship, place an idol or statue of Goddess Saraswati and offer yellow clothes to Goddess Saraswati’s idol.
Offer sandalwood, turmeric, saffron, yellow and white flowers, roli, and akshat to Goddess Saraswati. Offering yellow or white flowers to the Goddess on this day is considered auspicious. Also, offer yellow sweets to the divine Goddess, which are later distributed among people as Prasad.
On this day, musical instruments, stationery items, and books are worshipped. Offer these items to Goddess Saraswati while worshipping her and place them in front of the idol.
Worship Goddess Saraswati and recite the Saraswati Vandana.
Whether it’s in households or educational institutes, Vasant Panchami is celebrated by singing a prayer in praise of Goddess Saraswati. No studies are conducted on this occasion as it is a well-known belief that the Goddess is blessing the study materials.
In Hindu culture, Vasant Panchami has enormous significance. This day is considered auspicious for starting any new work. It is also considered quite auspicious to get married or perform a house warming ceremony (Griha Pravesh). Educational institutes organise cultural functions devoted to Goddess Lakshmi. Students and teachers wear yellow coloured clothes and offer prayers to the Goddess. Worshipping the divine Goddess Saraswati on this day can help you earn wisdom and knowledge. Children fly colourful kites on this day, and one can see the sky become splattered with different hues. Women also make beautiful floral designs at their homes' entrance to welcome Goddess Saraswati and the spring season.
Vasant Panchami Date - 16th February 2021
Vasant Panchami Puja Muhurat (Time) - 06:59 AM to 12:35 PM
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