The festival of Basant Panchami is a widely celebrated festival which marks the end of the winter season and the beginning of spring. Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of arts and knowledge, is the presiding deity of the festival. The festival falls on the fifth day of the Indian month of Magh and in the months of January-February according to the Gregorian calendar. The color which denotes the celebration of this festival is yellow and during the entire season, the whole atmosphere is filled with this vibrant color. People wear yellow clothes and prepare yellow sweets which are distributed among their loved ones. The goddess of knowledge is worshipped especially by students and academicians. Though it is celebrated primarily by the Hindus, Jains and Buddhists worship her too as she is the benefactor of all written and performed arts.
Basant Panchami Rituals & Tradition
The festival is celebrated with great pomp and show in all parts of India. On this auspicious day, the Hindus get up early in the morning and worship the Sun God after taking bath, if possible, in the sacred river Ganges. Then they clad themselves in yellow, as it signifies spirituality and prosperity. The color yellow also signifies the color of the ripened spring crop. Festive sweets are prepared at home using saffron, as it helps in deriving the color yellow. The goddess is dressed in yellow and the deity is worshipped by the worshippers who are dressed in yellow too. Later, swings are tied to the trees and women have fun singing traditional folk songs to greet the beautiful season of spring. After these rituals, sweets are distributed among the loved ones. The traditional sweet which goes along with the spirit of the festival is 'Kesar Halwa' and 'Sweet Rice' which are prepared with saffron to add yellow color to the preparation.
Schools and other teaching institutions organize cultural programs on this day, including the worshipping of goddess Saraswati. Along with these rituals, another important part of this festival is introducing children to the world of knowledge, hence marking a beginning to their learning phase. Floral designs are made in front porch of houses to signify the arrival of spring. Colorful kites are arranged by children and the sky gets filled with numerous kites on this auspicious day. Basant Panchami is about celebration and Hindus in India and around the world celebrate it with pomp and show.