Sunday, 23 November 2014

Vasantha Panchami(Saraswathi Puja/Basanth Festival) 2015 Celebrations

Vasantha Panchami is a festival dedicated to Goddess Saraswati. The festival is celebrated on the 5th day of bright fortnight of Magha month (January/February) in every year. It is believed that on this auspicious day, the Goddess Saraswati was born. The Goddess is the personification of Knowledge-arts,science,crafts. She represents Shakthi, Wisdom, Creativity and inspiration.

In the year 2015, the festival of Vasantha Panchami will be celebrated on January 24, 2015(Saturday)

Different Names in different Locations:
"Vasantha Panchami", the festival of Goddess Saraswati is celebrated in all parts of India. It is also known as Basantha Panchami, Saraswati Puja(in Bengali & Eastern parts of India), Saraswathi Panchami, Shree Panchami (or) Basant festival of Kites(in Punjab & Haryana).

The Sikhs are also celebrated the day of "Vasantha Panchami" as Basanth festival of Kites.
In Amristar, Muscians start the Music by singing "Basant Raga" on this auspicious day and the festival of Kites(patang) is being celebrated on this day especially in Firozpur, Punjab state.
A big Fair held at the famous "Sikh shrine of Guru-Ka-Lahore" in Bilaspur district to mark the occassion of the marriage of "Guru Gobind Singh Ji" on Vasantha Panchami.

Interestingly, "Vasantha Panchami" is the important festival in the Lahore city, Paksitan. Despite a Hindu festival, it is celebrated in Lahore that was evident in the pre-partition times.

Traditional Rituals on the day of "Vasanta Panchami":
  • The important ritual is "Learning Ceremony" popularly known as  "Akshara Abhyasam" or "Vidya-Arambham".  Hindus believe that the day of Vasantha Panchami is auspicious to begin a child's education. Children are taught to write their first words.
  • Special prayers and pooja's are offered to Goddess Saraswati.
  • People dressed in Yellow, gather together before the idol of Goddess Saraswati  and pray for the blessing of Knowledge 
  • Educational institutions organize special puja's to seek blessings from Goddess Saraswati.
  • In Nepal, Saraswati temples are filled with food one day before Vasata Panchami. They believed that Goddess Saraswathi joins in celebrations of traditional feasting in the following morning day(the day of Vasantha Panchami).
Significance and Importance of the Vasant Panchami:
The meaning of "Vasantha" is "Spring". The festival day signifies the first day of Spring Season. The colour of Yellow is an important role in this festival as it indicates the Onset of Spring and the blossoming of mustard colours. People decorate the idols of Goddess Saraswati in white-coloured cloth and offer Yellow flowers to the Goddess.
Yellow colour represents a colour of "SPIRITUALITY".

The great Indian guru pandit "Madan Mohan Malviya laid the foundation of the world-class academic institution "Kashi Hindu Viswa Vidyalaya(Banaras Hindu University)" on Vasantha Panchami.

Goddess Saraswathi Devi Temples:
There are very few temples of Goddess Sarawathi in India. Among them, the famous Saraswathi Devi temples are...
  1. Sri Vidya Saraswathi, Wargal, 
  2. Sri Gnana Saraswathi Devasthanam, Basara, Adilabad District, Telangana state,
  3. Sri Saraswathi Devi, Srungeri, Karnataka
  4. Sri Sharada Devi Shkathi Peeta in Pakistan occupied Kashmir(PoK), India,
  5. Sri Saraswathi Temple, Kuthanur, Tiruvarur district, Tamilnadu.

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