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Vasant Panchami, also known as Saraswati Puja and Shree Panchami, is a Hindu festival celebrated in observance of admiration towards Goddess Saraswati. Many commemorate it as the birthday of Goddess Saraswati.
Goddess Saraswati in Hindu Religion
In Hinduism, Goddess Saraswati is regarded as the supreme deity of art, skills, wisdom, learning, and communication. She is the one who determines the different facets of art, craft, and wisdom in life. Worshipping her with profound devotion helps one rise on the stature of wisdom and communication. This festival is one perfect occasion to do so.
Time of Celebration
It is observed on the fifth day (or Panchami) after Amavasya (New Moon) in the month of Magh of Hindu calendar. According to Georgian calendar, it usually falls in the month of January or February. This festival also marks the end of winters and beginning of spring (Vasant).
Rituals and Celebrations
1. On the day of Vasant Panchami, devotees of Goddess Saraswati pay worship to her by performing varied sort of rituals. One prominent highlight of this festival is its association with yellow colour. Yellow colour represents for vividness and beauty as hold by nature, as well as the liveliness of life. It is a symbol of love and prosperity. It also represents for the lush crop fields and fields filled with mustard flowers blooming at their best.
2. Idols of Goddess Saraswati at home and temples, as well as the entire temples are adorned upon with yellow colour. While reflecting that same liveliness, people dress up in vibrant yellow-coloured dresses enthusiastically make themselves a part of festivities. They present yellow flowers to each other, as well as adore Gods and Goddesses by offering yellow flowers to them. Taking forth the essence of yellow colour in this festival, people prepare Kesar Halwa (a sweet dish made up of flour, sugar, nuts, and cardamom powder) in their houses.
3. Considering the extreme degree of auspiciousness associated with this day, people make their children learn to write for the very first time on this day. Doing so is believed to be extremely auspicious, and many believe that doing so also confirms that the child would grow up to be an intelligent and intellectual human being.
4. It is one extremely important festival for students of all grades and levels. In order to get conferred with the blessings of Goddess Saraswati in the form of enhanced wisdom and improved communication skills, students and artists keep their notebooks, pens, pencils, or the instrument of their art form near the idol of Goddess Saraswati. Also, they make sure to offer yellow flowers on the day. All sorts of educational institutions, including schools and colleges, make special arrangements for worship of Goddess Saraswati on this day.
5. In order to appease Goddess Saraswati, people offer worships and chant Mantras in adoration of her. The associated Mantra which one should recite is:
Yaa Kundendu tushaara haaradhavalaa, Yaa shubhravastraavritha|
Yaa veenavara dandamanditakara, Yaa shwetha padmaasana||
Yaa brahmaachyutha shankara prabhritibhir Devaisadaa Vanditha|
Saa Maam Paatu Saraswatee Bhagavatee Nihshesha jaadyaapahaa||
5. Other than that, people feed Brahmins and perform ancestral-worship (Pitr-tarpan) on this occasion, as doing so derives enormous virtue and great positive results.
6. Kite flying is something which has grown up over a period of time to be an extremely important part of Vasant Panchami celebrations. People in north India, especially in places such as Haryana and Punjab, climb up to their roof tops and get engaged in kite flying. Various groups and communities also organize kite-flying competitions, in which large number of people with their colourful and distinctive kites participates.7. It is also the day when Lord Kamdev, the Hindu deity of love, is worshipped for attainment of true love.
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