Friday, February 15, 2013

Indian Festival - Vasant Panchami / Basant Panchami

When is it celebrated?
It is celebrated every year on the fifth day of the Indian month of Magh (spring season)[january to february].
Vasant Panchami has a specific meaning, Vasant means spring, whereas Panchami means the fifth day. And Vasant Panchami falls on the fifth day of spring 
[Src: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasant_Panchami , ]

Why is it celebrated?
It is believed that on this day goddess Saraswati was born - the goddess of knowledge, music, art and culture.

How is it celebrated?
Traditionally during this festival children are taught to write their first words; Brahmins are invited for lunch; ancestor worship (Pitr-tarpan) is performed; the god of love Kamadeva is worshipped; and most educational institutions organize special prayer or puja for Saraswati. Children generally fly kites on this auspicious occasion

The color yellow also plays an important role in this festival. People usually wear yellow garments, Saraswati is worshiped in a yellow dress, and yellow sweets are consumed within the families.
[Src: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasant_Panchami ]

Points to Note
* According to the popular belief, the origins of this festival lie in Aryan period. Aryans came and settled in India through Khyber Pass, crossing the Saraswati River among many others. Being a primitive civilization, most of their development took place along the banks of the River Saraswati. Thus, River Saraswati began to be associated with fertility and knowledge. It is then that the day began to be celebrated. [Src: http://www.calendarlabs.com/holidays/india/vasant-panchami.php ]
*The Goddess Sarasvati is the goddess of intellect and learning. She has four hands which symbolize ego, intellect, alertness and the mind. She carries a lotus and scriptures in two of her hands and she plays music on the veena (an instrument similar to a sitar) with her other two hands. She rides on a white swan. Her white dress is a symbol for purity. Her swan signifies that people should have the ability to discern the good from the bad.
The goddess Sarasvati, sitting on a lotus, symbolizes her wisdom.  She is also well-versed in the experience of truth.  When the goddess is seen sitting on a peacock, it is a reminder that a strong ego can be held back by wisdom. [Src: http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/india/vasant-panchami ]
* The most significant aspect of Vasant Panchami is that it is also the most auspicious day to begin laying one’s foundations of education – of how to read and write. Pre-school children are given their first lesson in reading and writing on this day. All Hindu educational institutions conduct special prayer for Saraswati on this day [Src: http://hinduism.about.com/od/festivalsholidays/p/vasantpanchami.htm]
* The color yellow is the predominant color associated with the festival, the origins of which are supposed to be the fields of mustard which can be seen in Punjab and Haryana during this period. Kite flying is also commonly associated with this festival. Children as well as adults fly kites on this day to celebrate freedom and enjoyment.[Src: http://www.calendarlabs.com/holidays/india/vasant-panchami.php ]

Additional Readings
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasant_Panchami
http://hinduism.about.com/od/festivalsholidays/p/vasantpanchami.htm
http://www.indif.com/nri/festivals/Vasant_panchami.asp
http://www.calendarlabs.com/holidays/india/vasant-panchami.php
http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/india/vasant-panchami

1 comment:

  1. आज के दिन हम माँ सरस्वती के रूप में ज्ञान, संगीत, कला और विज्ञान की पूजा करते हैं.

    मेरी ओर से आप सभी को बसंत पंचमी की हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं!

    ReplyDelete