India is a country of traditions & festivals where people celebrate various festivals. Different festivals signify different occasions, and Vasant Panchami is a festival marking the arrival of the year's spring season.
One of the most auspicious Hindu festivals, Vasant Panchami 2023, is observed by Sikhs to bid farewell to the wintery days and honour the beautiful season of spring. Vasant Panchami translates to “Spring” and “Fifth”, respectively. The important festival is observed on the 5th day of the month, i.e. Magh, as per the Hindu calendar, falls in January/February.
It is also a day dedicated to the Hindu Deity Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, wisdom, language, music, arts, and culture. On this day, devotees dress Yellow and worship Saraswati with yellow flowers. The colour is considered optimistic and also signifies the beautiful crops of mustard in the fields of Punjab & Haryana.
As mentioned earlier, Vasant Panchami is observed every year on the fifth day of Magha month, and this year, the 2023 Saraswati Puja date will take place on January 26th. The country celebrates the auspicious occasion with utmost fun, happiness, and excitement. Children in schools, colleges, and universities wear yellow dresses and seek goddess Saraswati’s blessings to impart wisdom.
There are several beliefs behind why we celebrate Basant Panchami. According to the Hindu story, it is the day when goddess Saraswati was born, while many say this is when Lord Brahma created the universe and life on earth began.
According to a story from Hindu mythologies, the Lord Brahma created the earth on the day of Vasant Panchami. Once, Lord Brahma was delighted with the world's creation and set out toward earth to explore his creation but got disappointed with the immense silence. Each living being on the planet Earth was very lonely. So, Lord Brahma showered a few drops of water from his pot, and a goddess emerged with a Veena (a musical instrument) in her hand. Lord Brahma requested her to bless the people of earth with music. Since then, the angel has been known as the goddess Saraswati and devotees started celebrating the auspicious day of Vasant Panchmi.
Another popular belief relates to the story of Kalidasa, a famous Sanskrit poet. According to the belief, Kalidasa was in immense despair about getting dumped by his wife, so he decided to end his life by jumping into the river. Then, the deity Saraswati emerged from the river and requested him to dip into the holy water. As Kalidasa did so, the goddess blessed him with wisdom, and he is a famous poet today.
As per another story, Lord Rama considered an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, ate the half-eaten fruits of Mata Sabari, so the day is remembered as Vasant Panchami.
Another popular story is from Matsya Purana, which revolves around Kamadeva, the god of Love, and his wife, Rati. Once, God Kamadeva was killed by Lord Shiva for his misconduct. This caused Rati, his wife, to undergo 40 days of strict punishment to satisfy Lord Shiva. It was the fortunate day of Saraswati Puja 2023 when Lord Shiva finally accepted her efforts and gave Kamadeva his life back.
People all over the country observe the festival of Vasant Panchami 2023 with utmost joy & happiness, but it varies in diverse parts of the country. Many Hindus, especially Bangalis, observe the day by wearing yellow-coloured clothes, preparing & distributing yellow-coloured sweets and saffron rice, and decorating their homes with yellow flowers. Some people also keep a fast on this day, stay without eating and worship the goddess Saraswati.
Several schools and colleges in states like West Bengal, Tripura, and Bihar celebrate the day by organising a Saraswati Puja for children.
In Odisha, a ritual known as Khadi-Chuan or Vidya Arambha is organised when young kids start learning. Many people also perform Pitra-Tarpan, a traditional ritual to honour their ancestors.
In the states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra, people take a bath in the morning and worship Shiva-Parvati with mango leaves and festive sweets. Newly wedded couples visit temples on this day together.
In many areas of Rajasthan, people wear Jasmine garlands, while in Punjab, this day is known as the “Festival of Kites”. Children and adults participate in the sports of kite-flying and have fun together. In households, the women prepare delicious sweets like sweet rice, etc.
In southern parts of the country, such as Andhra Pradesh, the day of Vasant Panchami 2023 is popularly known as Sri Panchami, where the word “Sri” stands for “her” in respect to goddess Devi. While in Assam, the rituals are conducted in the early morning. People get up early and take a bath and clean their houses. Then, they wear new clothes and gather to worship the goddess Saraswati.
In ancient times, people worshipped Goddess Saraswati before starting a child’s education. Since then, there has been a ritual of writing “Om” while studying. Therefore, on the day of Vasant Panchami 2023, parents considered it auspicious for children to start their education on this day.
Devotees wear yellow clothes and perform various rituals & Poojas at homes, temples, and learning places like educational institutions to seek goddess Saraswati’s blessings to impart wisdom. Students in different countries pray to the goddess Sarwasti and read/ write on this day.
This festival is majorly associated with prosperity & good luck. With Vasant Panchami, the arrival of the spring season is believed to be a good time for crops & harvest. And since India is an agricultural country, there is no wonder that the festival holds a significant value.
Now you know that Vasant Panchami is an ancient Hindu festival that marks the arrival of spring and the beginning of many auspicious occasions like Holi. The day holds a significant value in Indian culture, where people pray to the goddess Saraswati, the goddess of education, knowledge, and wisdom. Yellow colour is the theme for these celebrations. It has significance in the Sikh community as well, where people fly kites.
1. When is Basant Panchmi celebrated?
It is celebrated on the 5th day of Magh month as per the Hindu calendar, which falls in January or February.
2. Why is Basant Panchmi celebrated?
It is one of the important Hindu festivals that denotes the beginning of the spring season. The festival is also observed as Saraswati Puja, the deity of wisdom, language, and knowledge.
3. Why is Saraswati prayed on Basant Panchami?
It is believed by people that the goddess Saraswati was born on this day, and therefore, many people celebrate this day as the birth anniversary of the goddess.