Last Updated: January 22, 2023, 14:59 IST
BASANT PANCHAMI 2023: Vasant Panchami is a Hindu festival celebrated in different regions of India. It is commemorated on the fifth day of the Hindu month of Magha, which typically falls in late January or early February. The festival marks the start of spring and is dedicated to the goddess of learning, Saraswati.
On this day, people typically offer prayers and perform puja to the goddess. Several educational institutions also get students to participate in cultural and educational activities, such as music and dance performances. Others also celebrate the festival by flying kites.
This year the festival will fall on January 26. Read on to find out more about the day:
Basant Panchami: History
While some celebrate Vasant Panchami to honour Goddess Saraswati, others celebrate the harvest and the onset of Spring. There are several folklore associated with the festival, depending on the region. Yet the most widely accepted is the story of the legendary poet Kalidasa.
The story narrates Kalidasa as a simpleton who was tricked into marrying a princess who didn’t respect him. The dejected poet tried to take his life but just before he could do it, the goddess Saraswati appeared in front of him. He was asked to take a dip in the river, and when Kalidasa did, he emerged from the water as an intelligent, knowledgeable, and cultured person.
That is how he eventually become a renowned poet. This is why the goddess is worshipped on this day. Devotees pray to her to bestow the gift of knowledge on them.
Basant Panchami: Significance
Basant Panchami is marked on the fifth day (Panchami) of Magh month Shukla Paksha every year. The day marks the beginning of the preparations for Holi, which is celebrated forty days after the Saraswati Puja.
The reason why people associate the yellow colour with Basant Panchami is that the day is celebrated at a time when bright yellow flowers of the ripe mustard plants can be spotted in the fields of India. Several other yellow flowers of this season are offered to the Goddess of knowledge, Saraswati with whom this day is associated.
Basant Panchami: Date and Puja Timings
This year Vasant Panchami will fall on Thursday, January 26. The Panchami Tithi will begin at 12:34 PM on January 25 and end at 10:28 AM on January 26. The Muhurat for Vasant Panchami is 07:12 AM to 12:34 PM
Basant Panchami: Celebrations
- Vasant Panchami is commonly observed as Saraswati Puja in different parts of India.
- Apart from that, different regions of India celebrate it in different ways. One common custom remains for people to dress up in yellow attire and eat yellow rice.
- In Punjab, the festival is called Vasant Ritu and is celebrated as the festival of kites.
- Married couples on their first Vasant Panchmi together, visit temples in yellow clothes in Maharastra.
- In Bihar, the ancient statue of the Deo sun deity is washed and decorated during the celebrations of Vasant Panchami.
- The people of Rajasthan wear jasmine garlands on this day.
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