Basant Panchami – A Festival dedicated to Goddess Saraswati.

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India is known for its unique heritage and its grand & magnificent culture. India is a land of festivals & celebration of every festival has its own importance. Basant Panchami or Vasant Panchami is a famous Hindu Spring Festival where Basant means spring & Panchami depicts the fifth day of the month. It falls on the fifth day of Indian traditional calendar month “Magha” which is generally in the month of January or February. It is celebrated in Northern, Central & Western parts of India. This year it is on 22nd of January, 2018. So, best wishes to all the readers on the auspicious occasion of Basant Panchami.

The festival is known to be the birthday of Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge, music & art. On this auspicious day, students engaged in studies & people involved in music worship Goddess Saraswati to attain the pious blessings. Rajbhog, a traditional Bengali sweet is prepared as a popular treat during Saraswati Puja celebrations. On this day little children are made to write the first alphabet from their hand in front of the idol of the goddess & it is believed that the blessings of goddess will make their child achieve heights of success. In Punjab, Kamdeva i.e. God of Love is also worshipped on this day. People worship Kamdeva & remember their loved ones & offer them spring flowers. After praying they distribute sweets among the devotees.

Every region of the country celebrates this festival in its own way. Many schools organize different cultural events to celebrate Basant Panchami. People offer yellow flowers to each other. Spring is treated as the king of all seasons. This is the season when the climate is not so cold or not so hot & this is the time of lush green fields & when all the plants & trees blossom with fresh fruits & beautiful flowers. These things make the aroma so appealing & bountiful. With this day the preparation for Holi Festival is also started at some places, which occurs forty days after this festival. Musical gatherings in reverence of Goddess Saraswati are held in many communities. In Bihar & other eastern states, people visit temples & worship their Goddess i.e they do Saraswati Puja. Some communities also do Pitr-arpan to pray for the peace of departed souls.

As the festival is a symbol of spring, people dress up in bright yellow color, children celebrate by flying kites, playing games & also yellow colored traditional delicacies like sweet rice garnished with saffron, Kesar halwa etc. are prepared. Kite flying became a very popular event since 19th Century in India. In Hoshiarpur & Kapurthala, Basant Panchami fair is held. People attend the fair in yellow colored clothes, turbans or accessories. Yellow color symbolizes prosperity, light, optimism & energy.

As every festival brings galore of cheers and spread the message of selfless love & peace. We should follow the same &walk on the path which our religions show via the teachings behind these festivals.
Have a great Basant Panchami 2018!

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