The Story Behind
Basant Panchami is an Indian festival that is celebrated all across the country on the fifth day of the Hindu month, Magha. It is the day of the goddess Saraswathi. There is a story behind it which goes like Lord Brahma, after creating the universe, went on a journey to see his creation and was fairly disappointed because of the silence all around. He took water from his oblong pot and sprinkled a few droplets in the air. Hence, goddess Saraswathi appeared with a harp, a musical instrument in her hand. Lord Brahma requested her to add music to the universe. Listening to Brahma’s request, the goddess played the musical instrument she was holding and it made the whole creation filled with sound. She added music and energy to the universe. All the artistic expression of life is said to have taken birth from this goddess. So, to mark her birthday on this day she is celebrated and worshipped, and people seek her blessings to keep moving on the path of knowledge and light. It is believed that if the deity is worshipped, she will dispel the darkness and fill one’s life with energy and enthusiasm.
Beginning Of Spring
Basant Panchami marks the beginning of Basant Ritu that is the spring season. Basant Ritu is known as Rituon ka Raja which can be translated as ‘King of Seasons’ as the weather is very balanced without any extremes.
Significance of The Day
This day is considered very auspicious. It is said that in case one wants to start any new work or want to execute any idea, one should go ahead without looking for perfect timing. So, if you have been thinking long to start a new business or learning a new art form or getting married, this is a perfect day to do it.
Also, it is a day of the initiation of formal education, which is why it is also known as Akshar Abhyasam or Vidya Arambham. The little kids are introduced to writing where a family member keeps the child in his or her lap, holding the child’s right-hand forefinger and make the child write a Hindu Vedic mantra. The ritual is popularly followed in the southern states of India like Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Every Indian festival is incomplete without food. So, on this day yellow-coloured sweet rice or any other yellow-coloured milk-based sweet is cooked. Even people dress up in yellow colour. This colour plays a key role in the festivities as it marks the harvesting of mustard crops and also signifies peace, enthusiasm and newness. Goddess Saraswathi is always seen dressed up in a yellow and white colour saree.
Festivities Across the Country
Different states celebrate it differently. In East India, it is celebrated as Saraswathi Puja, in Punjab, it is celebrated with kite flying and in Rajasthan with jasmine garlands. As it is a day of the goddess of knowledge, music and arts; schools, universities and all educational institutes celebrate it by organizing a vibrant cultural program.