Basant Panchami or Vasant Panchami is one of the most important festivals that is celebrated with zeal and enthusiasm in our country. This year, it falls on February 10. It is also known as Saraswati Panchami as the goddess of wisdom and knowledge is worshipped on this day. The puja takes place depending on the Tithi in Panchang. The festival is widely celebrated in states like Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar. This day falls on the fifth day of Hindu month of Magh which is also the first day of spring season. The word ‘Basant’ means spring and ‘Panchami’ indicates the fifth day on which the auspicious festival falls. Thus, the festival marks the beginning of the Spring season.
There are many legends associated with the festival. It is said that Lord Brahma created the universe on Basant Panchami. The day also marks the beginning of life and happiness as according to the Hindu mythology, Lord Ram ate half tasted grapes of Mata Shabari on Basant Panchami.
On this day, devotees visit temples and pray to Goddess Saraswati. The yellow colour is given special importance and as a result devotees dress up in outfits of this colour to perform rituals. Many educational institutes and colleges organise cultural events to celebrate the occasion.
People prepare dishes like boondi ke ladoo, rajbhog and khichdi on this day. Kite flying activities are also conducted in some parts of India.