Also known as Saraswati Panchami, the Hindu festival of Basant Panchami is celebrated on the first day of spring. It falls on the fifth day of the month of Magha and also marks the beginnings of preparation for Holi, which falls forty days after the festival. The festival is dedicated to Maa Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music and art.
The colour yellow has a lot of importance on the day. People celebrate the day by wearing yellow outfits, worshipping goddess Saraswati and eating traditional dishes. The colour yellow symbolises knowledge and also denotes mustard fields that are related with the start of spring season.
Basant Panchami is celebrated across the country with slightly different traditions and delicious traditional dishes are cooked and enjoyed on this day. While in North India, especially in Punjab and Haryana, people fly kites, in eastern part of the country like West Bengal, it is celebrated as Saraswati Puja. In the southern states, it is known as Sri Panchami. In Gujarat, bouquet and garlands of flowers set with mango leaves are exchanged as gifts. In the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh people worship Shiva and Parvati on this day.
Reading through the pages of history, the legends says that Kalidasa saddened by the abandonment from his wife planned to commit suicide by drowning himself in a river. He was about to do that when goddess Saraswati came out of the water and asked Kalidasa to take a bath in it. His life changed thereafter as he got blessed with wisdom and became a great poet.
Another legend is based on the Hindu god of love Kama and according to mythology, Kamadeva once disrupted Lord Shiva's meditation when he was immersed in deep meditation after his wife Sati's demise. To awaken him from the meditation, seers approached Kama so that Shiva could reconnect with the world and notice Maa Parvati's efforts for him. Kama agreed and shot arrows, made of flowers and bees, at Shiva from his bow of sugarcane. An enraged Lord Shiva opened his third eye and burnt Kama to ashes. After Rati's (his wife) 40-day penance Shiva agreed to bring him back to life on the day of Basant Panchami. It is said he was later born as Pradumna, son of Lord Krishna.
This year Basant Panchami will be celebrated on January 26 along with the Republic Day.
Popdiaries family wish you all a very Happy and prosperous Basant Panchami !!