When: Friday, 15th February 2013 Where: India and Nepal
If you visit India during Basant Panchami the description of ‘ten thousand golden daffodils’ by William Wordsworth will strike a chord in your memory and you will be enthralled by this 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 dedication.
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.