New Delhi: The auspicious occasion of Basant or Vasant Panchami will be celebrated this year on January 29. The festival marks the celebration to usher in the spring season. Also, in some places, from this day, preparations for Holi start in full swing.
Every year, Vasant or Basant Panchami is celebrated on the fifth day of the bright half of the Hindu lunisolar calendar month of Magha. In our country, goddess Saraswati (the Knowledge goddess) is revered to on this day. Her blessings are sought for a better life where knowledge, wisdom etc are prayed for in abundance.
Vasant Panchami puja timings:
Vasant Panchami on Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Vasant Panchami Muhurat - 10:45 to 12:34
Duration - 01 Hour 49 Mins
Vasant Panchami Madhyahna Moment - 12:34
Panchami Tithi Begins - 10:45 on Jan 29, 2020
Panchami Tithi Ends - 13:19 on Jan 30, 2020
(according to drikpanchang.com)
Basant Panchami also marks the start of preparation for Holika bonfire and Holi, which occurs forty days later.
Saraswati Puja Significance:
Devi Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge, wisdom, music and performing arts. Many bhakts throng Saraswati temples, play music and chant her name the whole day. It also happens to be the day when parents introduce letters to their children. They initiate them into writing letters of alphabet or study together. This is also known as Akshar Abhyasam or Vidyaarambham (meaning initiation of education).
It is believed that Saraswati Maa's Vahan (vehicle) - swan - is blessed with a distinct ability to separate water from milk. Thus it teaches humans to differentiate between the good and the bad.
Another belief is that the day is marked as dedicated to god Kama—the Hindu deity of love. It is celebrated by remembering the loved one particularly one's partner or special friend and spring flowers play a significant role. The day is connected with the god of love. Several people wear yellow clothes and eat yellow rice to emulate the yellow mustard (sarson) flower fields, or play by flying kites.
Interestingly, renowned politician-cum-educationalist Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya laid the foundation of 'Banaras Hindu University' way back in 1916, on this very day. Since then the festival is considered fortunate to inaugurate such educational institutes.
Here's wishing our readers a very happy Basant Panchami and Saraswati Puja!