Basant Panchami is being celebrated on February 1, 2017, today, across the land. The day marks the beginning of the spring season even as the chills of past few months are getting over. Basant literally means Spring and being celebrated on fifth day of Magh month of the Hindi calendar it gets denoted as Panchami. The rural areas enjoy the delightful yellow mustard flower fields giving the day its resplendent hues.
As the first of the spring-theme festival of our country it is considered an auspicious day. It is celebrated with huge enthusiasm, especially in the northern states of India with markets and homes bedecked with yellow marigolds. It’s a sight to behold! It is also considered propitious by many to wear yellow clothes on Basant Panchami day.
People also visit temples to pray to Goddess Saraswati who is the goddess of learning and knowledge. But many more simply perform rituals at home to rejoice on the occasion. Ma Saraswati, the goddess of learning, wisdom, knowledge, fine arts is venerated on this day with enthusiasm. It is a special day for school children to pray to the Goddess of Learning who is the fountain of fine arts, science and symbol of supreme Vedantic knowledge.
People worship Goddess Saraswati to get enlightened with knowledge and to get rid of lethargy and ignorance. The day is ritually observed for initiating small children into formal education and is known as Akshar-Abhyasam. It is one of the more famous rituals of Basant Panchami. Many schools and educational institutes too celebrate Saraswati Puja by arranging prayers seeking blessing of the Goddess.
The objective of celebrating Basant Panchami is to enjoy and express the bliss of new found chaitanya or enlightenment and revel in nature. On this day a sheaf of grain from the new harvest is offered to deities at home and later cooked. Basant or Spring is considered the king of all seasons and its arrival is already sensed from Basant Panchami onward!