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Vasant Panchami 2022: Rituals and Significance

Vasant Panchami
Vasant Panchami is a famous festival that marks the end of the winter season and ushers in the springtime. The celebration of the Vasant Panchami is centered on the Hindu goddess Saraswati. It marks the onset of spring (Vasant) according to the Hindu calendar and is marked with great gaiety and celebrations all across the northern states in India. The color yellow plays an important role in Vasant Panchami as it is related to the bloom of mustard flowers during this period.

When is Vasant Panchami celebrated?

Vasant stands for spring, and Panchami means the fifth day. Thus, the festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the spring season. According to the Hindu calendar, it falls during the Purvahna Kaal (a time between sunrise and sunset) on the Panchami Tithi. In other words, it occurs on the fifth day of Magha (which works out to early February).
Different names for Vasant Panchami: Vasant Panchami is called by different names in different parts of our country. It is called Saraswati Puja in Bihar, the Festival of Kites in Punjab, or the Siri Panchami in West Bengal.

Significance of Vasant Panchami:

The spiritual significance is that the festival symbolizes the end of the days of ignorance and awakening into Spiritual enlightenment. On this day everyone wears a yellow dress. This is because the colour yellow represents the ripening of the spring crops.
On this day, events like marriage, naming ceremony, and Griha Pravesh(house warming) can be performed without hesitation without making any analysis with Panchang (calendar) or Astrological suggestion.

How is Vasant Panchami celebrated?

On the auspicious occasion of Vasant Panchami, educational institutions and schools perform Saraswati Puja to please Goddess Saraswati. In many parts of our country, the celebrants set up a grand pandal to welcome the goddess and worship her. Colorful processions are held to carry idols of Saraswati and immerse them in the holy water of river Ganga.
Kite flying is a very popular tradition followed during this festival. Children and adults alike engage in flying small and large kites and various kite-flying competitions are held across roof-tops and in playgrounds all over northern India.
In the northern part of our country, people feed Brahmans on this occasion and also perform Pitra-Tarpan, the traditional ancestral worship. It is also on this day that children are taught their first words, making it an auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of their learning process.
On the day of Basant Panchami, a log with a figure of Holika (demoness) is placed in a public place. During the next 40 days, devotees add twigs and other flammable material to form a pyre which is lit on Holi.

Popular beliefs of Vasant Panchami:

On the day of Basant Panchami, we offer Goddess Saraswati yellow-colored food. At home, we cook yellow-colored food. Especially on this day, sweet rice is cooked, in which almonds, raisins, cashews, and allied staff are added to make porridge. Family members and visitors are offered a yellow sweet bar.
It is also a belief that feeding milk to snakes on Vasant Panchami can bring wealth and prosperity in the coming days.

Stories behind the celebration of Vasant Panchami:

According to a Basant Panchami story, Lord Brahma was very happy with the creation of the whole world. As a result, he wanted to see the whole world with his own eyes. Therefore, he set out on a journey. When he saw the world, he was disappointed with complete silence. Everyone on planet Earth appeared very lonely. Lord Brahma had an idea. He took some water in his Kamandal and sprinkled it in the air. An angel appeared from a tree. The angel had a harp in her hand. Lord Brahma requested her to play something so that everything on Earth was not silent. As a result, the angel started playing some music. The angel blessed the people of the Earth with voice. She also filled this planet with music. Since then, that angel came to be known as Goddess Saraswati, Goddess of speech and knowledge. She is also known as Veena Vadini (harp player). It is believed that Goddess Saraswati provided voice, intelligence, force, and glory.
Another popular belief is that the origins of this festival lie in the Aryan period. Aryans came and settled in India 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.
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