Indian festivals are centred on harmony and unity. Decent food, fresh clothes, and small get-togethers go hand in hand with all the fun and games. This calls for Basant Panchami celebrations because spring is a season of happiness for everyone. Winter gives way to spring at the start of Vasant Panchami, also known as Basant Panchami. Winter gradually ends after Makar Sankranti (January 14–15), bringing warmer days as the sun slowly moves northward from the tropics of Capricorn. When the subcontinent exhales after a harsh winter, a welcome shift in temperature signals the approach of spring. Around the time of Holi, spring truly blossoms following this roughly 30-day transition period that begins with Vasant Panchami.
In the Indian lunisolar calendar, Vasant Panchami occurs on the fifth day of the bright lunar fortnight (Sukla Paksha) in the month of Magha. This is equivalent to the Gregorian months of January and February.
Hindus celebrate Basant Panchami as Saraswati Pooja in honour of Maa Saraswati, the goddess of learning, music, and the arts, who is said to have been born on this day. People start new jobs, get married, or start anything new on this auspicious day.
Vasant Panchami: Relationship to the goddess Trinity
This land holds excellent significance for Vasant Panchami. The festival of the Saraswati River was also observed on Vasant Panchami. This celebration, which honours Goddess Saraswati, is called Saraswati puja in many regions of India. While Saraswati temples are adorned and crowded with devotees, Saraswati pujas are performed in homes. Since one of the names of the goddess Lakshmi is Sri, it is observed as Sri Panchami in southern India. On the day of Vasant Panchami, Goddess Parvati also dispatched Kama Deva to thwart Lord Shiva’s penance. Thus, the three goddesses of the Hindu trinity are linked to this festival of Vasant Panchami. Put another way, it’s a day to honour learning, wealth, and artistic joy.
How do the Saraswati River and the Goddess Saraswati relate to Vasant Panchami?
An ancient river in northwest India called the Saraswati River dried up over time. Back then, when spring arrived, the Himalayan glaciers would melt, causing the Saraswati River to flow more quickly. The mustard plants that bordered the river used to bloom in total, their yellow blossoms adorning the banks for miles along the riverbank, creating a breathtaking sight. It’s interesting to note that in Indian tradition, the colour yellow stands for knowledge. It is springtime’s hue.
A day honouring knowledge
The banks of the Saraswati River were once home to the ashrams of the rishis. The sage Veda Vyasa also lived here. The Vedas, Upanishads, and other scriptures were written and assembled on the banks of the Saraswati River. As a result, the river came to be connected to the goddess of wisdom and knowledge, Saraswati.
Goddess Saraswati completes her association with the festival and the river on Vasant Panchami when draped in yellow. Today, people share food items coloured yellow and dress in yellow. Additionally, Vasant Panchami, a day dedicated to worshipping Goddess Saraswati, celebrates knowledge because, according to some traditions, it marks the beginning of a child’s education.
Many educational institutions observe Saraswati Pooja because it is thought to bestow talent, wisdom, and skill. Educational establishments, such as colleges and schools, throw intense celebrations for it. Maa Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom and knowledge, is said to be celebrating her birthday on this day. She received prayers from teachers and students, and plans for the day included singing, dancing, and other activities. This day has great significance because it is marked by the belief that it is a day of worship for books, and therefore, one should not touch or study books.