BASANT PANCHAMI 2021 – DATE, SIGNIFICANCE & CELEBRATION
The Hindu festival Basant Panchami also known as Vasant Panchami marks the arrival of spring. According to the Hindu calendar, Basant Panchami is celebrated on the fifth day of Magh month. This year, it is being celebrated on 16th February 2021. In many parts of the country, this festival is also referred to as Saraswati Puja which involves worshipping Goddess Saraswati. The festival of Basant Panchami is celebrated differently in different states. As Saraswati is the Goddess of knowledge and wisdom, people encourage their kids to write their first words in front of the idol of Goddess Saraswati to seek her blessings. This day is also considered as the beginning of the Holi celebration, which is celebrated 40 days after Basant Panchami. It is believed that the day of Basant Panchami is one of the auspicious days to get married, start new work, or do something auspicious.
HISTORY AND SIGNIFICANCE OF BASANT PANCHAMI
According to the story, Kalidasa’s wife who was a beautiful princess left him because of his illiteracy. In that grief, he decided to kill himself by drowning in a river. When he was about to commit suicide, Goddess Saraswati appeared in front of him and asked him to bathe in that river. As soon as Kalidasa took a dip in the river, he got blessed with intelligence, knowledge, and wisdom and later he became a famous poet. That is why on this day, Goddess Saraswati is worshipped so that she can bless her devotees with a gift of knowledge.
Another story is about Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe. It is believed that Lord Brahma wanted to see his creation himself so he set out on a journey. While he was sight-seeing, he got disappointed with the loneliness and silence on the earth. Then, he created an angel with a harp in her hand and requested her to play something. That angel was Goddess Saraswati, also known as Veena Vadini and she blessed the people on earth with her voice.
BASANT PANCHAMI CELEBRATIONS ACROSS INDIA
People celebrate Basant Panchami with immense happiness and joy all over India. On this day people wear yellow-colored outfits, prepare sweets, decorate their homes with flowers, and distribute sweets among their loved ones. The celebration of Basant Panchami is different for different states of the country. People living in Uttarakhand, worship the mother earth & crops along with Goddess Saraswati. On this day, they place the cow dung heaps in the fields and put wheat and barley on them. After that, lamps are lit on those heaps to worship mother earth and crops. In Punjab, people celebrate the day by flying kites as it signifies freedom and joy. In Rajasthan, people wear garlands made of jasmine. In Maharashtra, newlywed couples wear yellow clothes and offer prayers in temples. In West Bengal, the artists worship their tools in front of the Goddess Saraswati. In Odisha, people offer bright yellow flowers to the Goddess Saraswati and prepare delicious recipes. These were some of the ways of celebrating Basant Panchami in some states of India.