What is Vasant Panchami?
- What: Also called Basant Panchami or Saraswati Puja, it celebrates the birth of Saraswati Devi and the start of Spring. For some, it also marks the formal start of education known as Akshar-Abhyasam or Vidya-Arambham.
- When: It comes on the fifth (“panchami”) day of the Magha month in the Hindu calendar, which is on February 14th in 2024.
- Where: Celebrated by Hindus globally and across all parts of India with regional variations.
How Some Celebrate Vasant Panchami
- Dress in yellow and consume yellow sweets
- Write an auspicious symbol like Om on a piece of paper. Place it, along with stationaries like pens and notebooks, at Saraswati’s feet
- Chant the Saraswati mantra
The Significance of the Color Yellow
- Considered to be Saraswati Devi's favorite color
- Represents the mustard flowers seed blooming during Spring
- Symbolizes knowledge and enlightenment
- It's purifying like the turmeric spice
What is the Origin Story Behind Vasant Panchami?
Once upon a time, Lord Brahma, the one responsible for creating the world in which we live, wanted to see it with his own eyes. So, off he went expecting to be dazzled and in awe. Instead, he was met with complete silence. Not even a bird chirping in the distance. Everyone just seemed so... sad.
He had an idea.
He was holding a pot of water so he scooped some in the palm of his hand and sprinkled it in the air.
And just like that, out of thin air, appeared Goddess Saraswati with a veena in her hands.
Brahma requested her to play something because the silence was too deafening. She not only blessed the people of the earth with music but with voice as well.
Ever since, she became known as the Goddess of knowledge, music, art, speech, wisdom, and learning. Thus, Saraswati is always shown holding a book, a mala, a water pot and the veena.
Vasant Panchami is celebrated as an ode to her.
The day also marks the beginning of agricultural fields blossoming with mustard flowers.
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