New Delhi, Jan 22: As ‘Diwali’ – the festival of light – is to Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and prosperity, and ‘Navaratri’ is to Durga, goddess of power and valor, Basant Panchami is to Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and arts.
Country is Celebrating the festival today to honor the Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of learning who bequeaths the greatest wealth to humanity, the wealth of knowledge.
Significance of Basant Panchami:
This festival is celebrated every year on the 5th day or ‘Panchami’ of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Magha, which falls during January-February. ‘Vasant’ comes from the word ‘spring’ as this festival heralds the beginning of the spring season.
Hindu mythology describes Goddess Saraswati as a pristine lady bedecked with white attire, white flowers and white pearls, sitting on a white lotus, which blooms in a wide stretch of water. The Goddess also holds Veena, a string-instrument, like Sitar, for playing music.
The four arms of Goddess Saraswati represent the four aspects of human personality in learning: mind, intellect, alertness, and ego. She rides on a white goose (swan). The swan is known for its peculiar characteristic of separating water from milk, indicating that one should possess clear vision and knowledge to discriminate between good and evil.
It is believed that Goddess Saraswati was born on this day. Students worship the goddess on this day.
Children are taught reading and writing their first words on this day, as it is considered an auspicious day to begin a child’s education.
Students keep their notebooks, pens and educational items near the statue of Goddess Saraswati and distribute sweets among the devotees.
Importance of Wearing Colour On This Day:
Since the colour of Basant or Spring is yellow, also known as the ‘Basanti’ colour. It has a symbolic representation, as it depicts prosperity, light, invigorating energy and positive vibes. This is the reason why people wear yellow clothes and make traditional delicacies in yellow hues.
Such as sweet rice, known as Meethe Chawal, which is also known as Kesari Chawal, this sweet dish, is made of rice which is sweetened with sugar syrup.
Other deliciously dishes and desserts prepared on this day include Boondi Ki Ladoo, yellow Khichdi, and the famous Kesari Sheera, Kesari Sheera or Kesari Halwa as many call it, is a roasted grain preparation, which is flavoured and thickened by using a good amount of ghee, sugar and garnished by dry fruits.
Yellow’ is the dominant color of this festival as it signifies the ripening of fruits and crops. The mustard fields in North India blooms during this season giving a yellow coat to nature.
People wear yellow clothes, offer yellow flowers to Goddess and put a yellow, turmeric tilak on their forehead. They visit temples and offer prayers to various gods. New clothes are purchased for this festival and many delicious dishes prepared for this particular occasion. People dance and fly kites, consume delicious yellow dishes and sweets on this graceful day, with sharing sublimity towards Goddess Saraswati.