5 Facts About Vasant Panchami
Vasant Panchami is a Hindu festival that marks the end of winters and starting of the spring season. It is celebrated on Magh Shukla Panchami (the fifth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Magh), which heralds the arrival of the spring season.
Vasant Panchami or Saraswati Puja is very auspicious for the worship of Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of learning and Wisdom. It is the time when mustard fields are at their full bloom with yellow flowers. Hence yellow is the color of the festival. The Vasant Panchami also marks the start of preparation for Holika and Holi, which occurs forty days later.
Spring is the season after winter and before summer. The days become longer and the weather heats up, days become longer and nights become shorter in these seasons. You will see trees developing new leaves and blooming flowers. You can see birds chirping and colorful butterflies and bees hovering over flowers drinking their nectar.
Vasant means “spring” & Panchami means “the fifth day.” Vasant Panchami actually falls on the fifth day of spring. The festival is particularly observed by Hindus in India and Nepal, it’s also has been a historical tradition of Sikhs as well. In southern states, the same day is called Sri Panchami.
Interesting facts about Vasant Panchami
The festival celebrates Goddess Saraswati’s birthday and is celebrated as Saraswati Puja. Goddess Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and learning. It is one this day when the first-time learners are initiated to education (the ritual is known Akshar-Abhyasam or Vidya-Arambham). The Goddess is worshiped at all educational institutions. Students and those associated with education, art or culture pray to Saraswati for eternal knowledge and enlightenment.
Worshipping the God of Love Kamadeva
Vasant Panchami is associated with Shringara Rasam (the emotion of romance) and the festival was celebrated in this tradition. Kamadeva, the God of love and desire, his wife Rati is also worshipped on this day. It is remembered as the day when Parvati approached Kama to wake up Shiva in Yogic meditation since the Maha Shivaratri. Kama agrees and shoots arrows, made of flowers and bees, at Shiva from his heavenly bow of sugarcane in order to arouse him to pay attention to Parvati. This initiative is celebrated by Hindus as Vasant Panchami. Vasant Panchami is associated with the emotions of love and emotional anticipation in Kutch (Gujarat), and celebrated by preparing bouquet and garlands of flowers set with mango leaves, as a gift.
Worship of the Sun God
The shrine of the Sun-God in Aurangabad district, Bihar known as the Deo-Sun Shrine, was established on Basant Panchami. It is celebrated as a harvest festival and the birthday of Deo-Surya God in Bihar. As Sun God symbolize wisdom and light, during spring after many months of chill sun brings warmth and gives new energy and vitality to people. People in Bihar, therefore, celebrate and honor the Sun God through songs and dance. They also clean the statues at the Deo-Sun Temple.
Apart from Saraswati Puja, this day is also celebrated by flying colorful kites to raise the zest and zeal of this day in North India. This tradition of flying kites was started by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Punjab some two hundred years ago. Yellow is the color of the day, People wear Yellow clothes as it is related to the bloom of mustard flowers during this period.
Preparation of Holi starts
It is on Basant Panchami that a wooden log with a figure of demoness Holika, who was burnt to death with the help of Lord Vishnu as per the scriptures, is placed at the public place. Over the next 40 days, devotees add twigs, hay and other combustible materials to create the pyre for “Holika Dahan” (burning of Holika) on the previous day of Holi that signifies triumph of good over evil.