Vasant Panchami is a remarkable festival among the Hindus. This holyday is particularly known for the �puja� (to worship) of Devi Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge, Art and Music. It is a waited festival for all and is celebrated every year on the fifth day of the Indian month of �Magh� (A Time Between January-February). It is also the first day of �Vasanta Ritu� (The Start Of Spring). Hence,�Vasant Panchami�, is also known as the �Spring Festival�.
Spring is most beautiful among all seasons. With the flourishing beauty of Nature, the festive mood reaches its height. The �Palash� (A beautiful red flower often referred as the �flame of the forest�) trees are laden with blooming flowers and the air gets heavy with the hot smell of fruits. It is the season of fruition and maturity, adding to the warmth of the seasonal festivity.
Devi Saraswati is the wife of �Lord Brahma� (The Creator according to Hindu mythology). She is dressed in white or light lemony yellow sari. A mighty, white swan, Her constant companion, accompanies Goddess Saraswati in Her visit to earth. The Goddess possesses four hands, sitting on the swan. Since she is the Goddess of �Music�, she holds the �Veena�, a stringed instrument in one of her hands. It is a special day for students and scholars, who pray to the Goddess for prosperous academic careers.
Saraswati Symbolising �Satwa Guna�
Devi Saraswati symbolizes �Satwa Guna�, which stands for �Purity� and �Individuality�. The key factors of �Satwa Guna� are �Education�, �Music� and �Fine Art�. Devi Saraswati is worshipped among all, since the value and worth of education is unparalleled. It is a universal fact that, a man of power demands honor, but a learned man spontaneously achieves it from other people.
The Celebrations Of Saraswati Puja
Saraswati Puja or Vasant Panchami is basically the festival for students. On this holyday the students worship the Goddess with full reverence. It is the day, which is considered pious to start education. Men remember their ancestors through a special ritual, known as � Pitri Tarpan�. People of other sects feed the �Brahmins�, who belong at the highest order of religious hierarchy among Hindus. An interesting fact is that, the God of �Love�, �Kamdeva� (According to the Hindu Mythology) is worshipped as well.
On the holyday of �Vasant Panchami�, people get dressed in yellow. Yellow has a special significance, since the color of the Goddess�s attire itself is yellow. Some people dye their duppatas (stoles) and saris and turn them yellow.
Sweetmeats and yellow colors are distributed among close relations. Saffron is also added to the food in order to bring the yellow color. �Kesari Halwa� (a sweet dish, prepared with Saffron) is prepared among the North Indian people.
Vasant Panchami In Different States
Vasant Panchami is mostly celebrated in the states of Bengal and Bihar in India. Bengalis prepare artistic �Pandals� (Tents) to welcome the Goddess. They keep the books and musical instruments in front of the Goddess, in order to seek Her blessings. The Bengalis generally do not study on this day, since they believe that the books should be kept with the Goddess at least for a single day.
In Jaipur, Rajasthan, the festive mood reaches its ultimate height. Here too, the predominance of the Yellow color can be noticed.
Saraswati Puja is a very important event in the universities and colleges of India. Thus, Vasant Panchami or Saraswati Puja is an occasion of calm sacredness celebrating the power of knowledge and wisdom.