Vasant Panchami, also spelled Basant Panchami, is a festival that marks the arrival of spring, celebrated by people in various ways depending on the region. The Vasant Panchami also marks the start of preparation for Holika and Holi, which occurs forty days later. Basant means spring and Panchami means “the fifth day”. The day is also celebrated as Saraswati Puja and the goddess of wisdom and knowledge, Saraswati, is worshipped on this day. Saraswati Puja is one of the major annual events celebrated in our Indian culture. This year, Basant Panchami will be observed on February 10. Saraswati Puja on Vasant Panchami is more popular in Bengal, Odisha and North Indian states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh.
Saraswati Puja on Vasant Panchami is performed for a single day. Prayagraj is all set to host the third ”shaahi snaan” of the ongoing Kumbh on Basant Panchami during which more than two crore devotees are expected to take a holy dip. Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, wisdom, art and music, is worshipped on the auspicious day of Saraswati Puja, celebrated on Basant Panchami. At several places in India, the schools begin their session on Saraswati Puja day.
Men, women and children dress up in the vibrant yellow colour as mustard fields in northern parts of India blooms during this season giving a yellow coat to the nature. Yellow flowers are offered to Goddess Saraswati and the festive yellow dishes like sweet saffron rice, kesari sheera, boondi ke ladoo, rajbhog and khichdi are prepared in homes. People also fly kites, distribute sweets, offer prayers in temples and music events are also held to celebrate this day.
On this day students are encouraged to study but before that they need to pile up their books in front of the idol of Goddess Saraswati in order to seek her blessings. It is only through knowledge that an individual can conquer the world, which is why much emphasize has been given to knowledge and wisdom in the life of a student.