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The festival Vasant Panchami is also known as Basant Panchami is celebrated by Hindu people in the month of Magh. That is in between the months of January and February. Due to the arrival of this festival in this month which is the harvest time for the farmers so this festival is also known as the harvest festival, and also celebrated as ‘Saraswati Puja’.
The Devi Saraswati is said to be collected and calm. She is usually pictured seated on a lotus or a peacock, wearing a white dress. This festival highlights the coming of spring. It is also a sign of happiness among the farmer as due to the arrival of new crops. The festival of Vasant Panchami brings freshness and peace to the farmers as the farm with new crops look astoundingly beautiful. It is celebrated in many different ways in different parts of India.
Vasant Panchami is the festival of Hindu and it is celebrated on the fifth day of “spring” which comes in the month of January or February. The name of the festival has a specific meaning behind it. The meaning of the word Vasant means “spring” and Panchami is the Sanskrit word for five which means “the fifth day”. The festival is celebrated on the fifth day in the month of Magha according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar. The festival is also known as “Hari Raya Saraswati” by the Hindu of Indonesia which means the great day of Saraswati. The beginning of the 210 days long Balinese Pawukon calendar is also marked by this festival. The period when the festival is celebrated is treated as the starting of the spring. There is a particular traditional ritual through which the people of Sikhs religions of India celebrate this festival. The celebration of this festival is seen in the west, north and the central part of India and Nepal.
The celebration of this festival is done by worshipping the ancient god of knowledge, music, language and all arts that is the Hindu goddess Saraswati. The god Saraswati symbolizes the power and creative energy in all its form. It is depicted as the energy of the Lord Brahma. The festival comes in the ending period of the season winter which is the harvest time for the farmer. The farm looks yellow because of the yellow flowers of the mustard crop. It is also associated with the favorite color of the goddess Saraswati. On the day of this festival, people wear yellow color to celebrate this festival. Girls wear yellow saris and boys wear a yellow shirt. There is also used to be a sharing of yellow colored sweets and snacks. People also consume yellow color rice on this day which is also considered to be as a part of an elaborated feast. The special dish is made at this festival alled kesar halva or kesar halwa. It is usually made from nuts, sugar, cardamom powder, flour. The saffron strands are used in the dish to give a mild fragrance and yellow color.
As the goddess, Saraswati is the god for knowledge so in many families this day is also celebrated by sitting with babies and young children and encouraging them to write their first words with their fingers. It is also a culture that the adult who is deeply interested in the art of any type such as music create music together. Prayers in the school are also organized on this day. A special prayer for the workship of the god Saraswati is held in many schools and colleges. Notebooks, pens, and pencil are distributed to the student. It is first placed near the goddess Devi’s feet to be blessed before they are used by students. A statue of goddess Saraswati is also decorated with saris and a musical instrument. All this decoration is done mostly in yellow color. In the evening many communities held a gathering of music and poetry which is completely free of cost and many people enjoy this day by listening to music and poetry.
Different states in India celebrate this festival in different ways. Like in Maharashtra for a newly married couple the first Basant Panchami is a very important festival and is celebrated by visiting the temple in a yellow dress and offer prayers after a wedding. For the people of Rajasthan, it is compulsory to wear jasmine garlands on this day. In the Punjab region, people wear a yellow turban. It is also a tradition to fly kites on this day and the similar traits can be seen in other parts of the states like Maharashtra, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh. In Uttarakhand, the people not only workship Devi Saraswati but also worship Lord Shiva and Paravati. They eat yellow rice and the majority of people wear yellow clothes.
The temple of Saraswati is filled with food and yellow color flower. In the temple’s also the statue of the goddess Saraswati is dressed in yellow color and there used to be three-time puja of the goddess Saraswati. The whole temple bursts with yellow during this festival. There used to be a public holiday on this day. Schools, colleges and also government offices are closed on this day or if not possible then there used to be a half day.
Festivals play a significant role in our day to day lives. We worship different Gods and accordingly there are different festivals that we celebrate to mark the occasion. Festivals provide us with an opportunity to spend quality time with our family, friends and relatives. There are so many rituals attached to the festivals and this makes the entire concept of celebration of festivals even more colorful & exciting.
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