Basant Panchami is also denoted as Saraswati Puja by the Hindus in India. It is believed that on this day, Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of art, crafts and knowledge was born. She conferred upon humanity the greatest wealth that a human being can ever ask for, the gift of Knowledge. The Hindu mythology popularizes Goddess Saraswati as the immaculate power who bestows upon the worthy with the wealth of knowledge. The color white is associated with the goddess of knowledge as it is the symbol of peace and serenity. Images of goddess Saraswati with white adornments, sitting on a white lotus flower which blooms in a wide stretch of water are quite commonly seen on this day. Goddess Saraswati or Maa Saraswati, as called by the people of West Bengal, is worshipped on this auspicious day by the worshippers who are themselves clad in the color yellow, the color of spring. Prasad is offered to the goddess and later the same is distributed among the worshippers.
The popular festival is related to the goddess of knowledge; hence, children are initiated towards learning and gaining knowledge. This is significant because it is the birth day of goddess Saraswati. As the river Saraswati is associated with the goddess, rituals are performed on the banks of this holy river. Offerings are made but no sacrifices are conducted. Vegetarian food is cooked and had on this day and people abstain from non-vegetarian food. Goddess Saraswati is supposed to be the goddess of art, literature and speech too; hence, hymns are written and sung in praise of the goddess on Basant Panchami. Whenever a new teaching institution is started, goddess Saraswati is worshipped. A school is considered to be the temple of learning and hence, a temple of the goddess itself.
Schools and colleges organize special functions and cultural activities on this particular day and devote these to goddess Saraswati. Students offer a lot of flowers to the image of Saraswati. They keep all their study materials like books, articles, instruments of music and arts, earthen inkpots and bamboo quills in front of the deity. No one reads anything on this day; it is a way to show their reverence to the deity of knowledge. Most Hindu communities celebrate this festival with great pomp and show as this is the time of the year when goddess Saraswati is remembered by its followers.