Vasant Panchami : Celebration of Supreme Knowledge

India is a country of colors and festivals. Every time a new season begins, it is celebrated widely in different ways and forms. We have Holi:the festival of colors, Diwali:the festival of lights, Dasera:the festival marking victory of triumph over evil, Basant panchami:the festival of the Goddess Saraswati.

Goddess Saraswati

Basant Panchami which means the fifth day of the onset of spring. It is widely believed that Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge was born or created on this very day millions of years of ago. This festival is celebrated at homes, in schools and colleges, in offices and of course in all temples. There is also a custom of ancestral worship on this day in many parts of the country which is also known as "Pitra-Tarpan".

Onset of spring

Another important fact about Basant Panchami is that it embarks the foundation of one's education. Pre-school children are given their first proper reading-writing lesson on this day also popularly known as "Akshara Abhyasam".

Akshara Abhyasam

Basant Panchami is celebrated to honor the Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of learning who bequeaths the greatest wealth to humanity, the wealth of knowledge.
Hindu mythology describes Goddess Saraswati as a pristine lady bedecked with white attire, white flowers and white pearls, sitting on a white lotus, which blooms in a wide stretch of water. The Goddess also holds Veena, a string-instrument, like Sitar, for playing music.
The four arms of Goddess Saraswati represent the four aspects of human personality in learning: mind, intellect, alertness, and ego. She rides on a white goose (swan). The swan is known for its peculiar characteristic of separating water from milk, indicating that one should possess clear vision and knowledge to discriminate between good and evil.
Yellow' is the dominant color of this festival as it signifies the ripening of fruits and crops. The mustard fields in North India blooms during this season giving a yellow coat to nature. People wear yellow clothes, offer yellow flowers to Goddess and put a yellow, turmeric tilak on their forehead. They visit temples and offer prayers to various gods. New clothes are purchased for this festival and many delicious dishes prepared for this particular occasion.

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