Basant Panchami, which is also known as Saraswati Puja, is a Hindu festival that is celebrated to worship Goddess Saraswati. The festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the month of ‘Magh’, that is the onset of the spring season. Basant Panchami also announces the arrival of ‘Holi’.
Basant Panchami is generally celebrated by the Hindus but it is also associated with the Sikhs. Basant Panchami is celebrated differently in north and south. In North, the festival is observed as ‘Saraswati Puja’ while in south it is mostly celebrated as a temple festival.
Basant Panchami also celebrates the agricultural fields’ ripening with yellow flowers of mustard crop, which Hindus associate with Saraswati's favorite colour. The festival is also known as ‘Shri Panchami’ and ‘Saraswati Panchami’.
People also dress in yellow saris or shirts or accessories, share yellow coloured snacks and sweets. Some add saffron to their rice and then eat yellow cooked rice as a part of an elaborate feast.
Apart from India, Basant Panchami is also celebrated in Nepal, Bali and Hindus of Indonesia where it is known as ‘Hari Raya Saraswati’ or ‘great day of Saraswati’.
Date: This year Basant Panchami will be celebrated on January 29.
Shubh Muhurat: The timings for Basant Panchami this year are 10:45 to 12:34.
Why do people worship Goddess Saraswati?
Goddess Saraswati is worshipped on Basant Panchami. People worship her to get enlighten with knowledge and get rid of their lethargy, sluggishness and ignorance. Goddess Saraswati symbolises creative energy and power in all its form, including longing and love (kama).
On this day, people offer different types of sweets to her and dress in yellow or white colour and establish a ‘puja kalash’ in front of her. Some people also fly kites on this day and sing traditional songs.