Vasant Panchami, also called Saraswati Puja is a festival that marks the preparation for the arrival of spring. The festival is celebrated by people in various ways depending upon the region in the life in the Indian subcontinent. Vasant Panchami also marks the start of preparation for Holika and Holi, which take place forty days later. The Vasant Utsava on Panchami is celebrated forty days before Spring, because any season’s transition period is 40 days, and after that, the season comes into full bloom. The festival of Vasant Panchami is celebrated on fifth day of Shukla Paksha of Magh Mas.
Different Regions, Different Names
The festival is particularly observed by Hindus in the Indian subcontinent, notably India and Nepal, it’s also has been a historical tradition of Sikhs as well. In southern states, the same day is called Sri Panchami. On the island of Bali and the Hindus of Indonesia, it is known as “Hari Raya Saraswati” (great day of Saraswati). It also marks the beginning of the 210-day long Balinese Pawukon calendar. It is written in our Holy Scriptures if we do True Worship of God, then God can fulfill our all those desires which are not harmful for us.
According to Basant Panchami story, Lord Brahma created the universe. Lord Brahma was very happy with the creation of the whole world. As a result, he wanted to see the whole world with his own eyes. Therefore, he set out on a journey. When he saw the world, he was disappointed with complete silence. Everyone on planet Earth appeared very lonely. Lord Brahma gave a lot of thought to what he had created. So, Lord Brahma had an idea. He took some water in his Kamandal and sprinkled it in air. An angel appeared from a tree. The angel had a harp in her hand. Lord Brahma requested her to play something so that everything on Earth was not silent. As a result, the angel started playing some music. The angel blessed the people of the Earth with voice. She also filled this planet with music. Since then, that angel came to be known as Goddess Saraswati, Goddess of speech and knowledge. She is also known as Veena Vadini (harp player). It is believed that Goddess Saraswati provided voice, intelligence, force and glory.
As per another Basant Panchami story, this day, God Rama ate half tasted grapes of Mata Shabari. So as to commemorate, the festival of Basant Panchami is celebrated.
Panchami is also celebrated as the birthday of Goddess Saraswati. This festival is considered to be the festival of King of seasons. Basant Panchami begins from spring season and carries up to Panchami of Krishan Paksha of Falgun Mas. The day of Basant Panchami is considered as the beginning of life. This day is the day of arrival of happiness. The season of spring is the season of rebirth and renewal. In this season, fields of yellow mustard charm everyone’s heart. Colourful flowers start blooming. The day of Basant Panchami is celebrated as the welcoming of colours and happiness. This festival is especially significant for lovers of art and education.
On this day, Lord Vishnu, Lord Krishna, Goddess Radha, and Goddess of education, Mata Saraswati are worshiped with yellow flowers, Gulal, water offerings, incense, lamp etc. In this Puja, as per the tradition, yellow and sweet rice and yellow coloured Halwa is offered to God and then eaten as Prasad. This festival is celebrated in north India with full glee and delight.
By Lipakshi Seedhar (Feature Writer)
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