The month of February is known to be the season of fresh breeze and blooming flowers. The festival of Vasant Panchami is celebrated on the fifth day of Magha. This year, the festival falls on February 9 according to the Gregorian calendar. It also marks the birth of goddess 'Saraswati' who embodies knowledge, art and music. People opt for yellow coloured outfits on this day and distribute sweets usually made of saffron.
It is believed that Saraswati Maa's vaahan (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.
It is considered auspicious if children worship Saraswati Maa, the goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and learning. Kids are taught their first words on this very day at some places. This is also known as Akshar Abhyasam or Vidyaarambham (meaning initiation of education).
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.