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Basant Panchami - Saraswati Puja (2018) - Festivals of India

Updated on December 20, 2017
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Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years breeding layer and broiler parents.

Basant Panchami, also called Vasant Panchami,

will be celebrated on

22 January 2018

Ripe Mustard Crop

Ripe Mustard Crop
Ripe Mustard Crop | Source

About Basant Panchami

Basant Panchami, also called Vasant Panchami, Saraswati Puja, Shree Panchami, Sufi Basant and the Basant Festival of Kites is a spring festival that celebrates the onset of spring as well as the birthday of Goddess Saraswati.

Vasant or Basant means spring and Panchami means 5th day. Therefore Vasant Panchami falls on the 5th day of the Magha month or Spring.

Basant Panchami is both a harvest festival and a religious festival, the former for the peope of Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Bihar and Bengal states of India and the latter for those in Uttar Pradesh, Eastern India & some parts of Bengal and Punjab. It is celebrated in North India with much enthusiasm.

In Bihar, people also celebrate it as the birthday of the Sun God.

For Sikhs, this day also marks the day when their tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh got married. Sikh religious hymns are raga based and Basant raag is sung on the advent of spring, and continues till the first day of Vaisakh.

As a seasonal festival, Basant Panchami herals the start of spring and marks the end of winter. Yellow color predominates on this day whether in clothes people wear, or the sweet dishes that are prepared on this day, or even in flowers that are offered to the deity while worshipping.

Though predominantly a Hindu festival, Basant Panchami is celebrated by the Muslims, as Sufi Basant, since the 12th century, and is celebrated at the dargah of the Chishti Saint Nizamuddin Aulia in Delhi and at all dargahs of the Chishti.

Goddess Saraswati

A Statue Of Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess Of Knowledge
A Statue Of Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess Of Knowledge | Source

Basant Panchami Significance

Hindus dedicate this day to the worship of Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge, Art & Music. They visit temples and perform a variety of religious rituals.

The traditional worship of ancestors called "Pitra Tarpan" is also done by Hindus and Brahmins are offered food on this occasion.

Even school and colleges organise cultural activities and a special worship for the Goddess Saraswati. Books and study material are placed at the feet of the Goddess in the belief that she will bless them. Studies are given a day off today.

For little children uninitiated to learning, this day is taken as a right an auspicious opportunity to mark the beginning of their learning process.

Even Kamadeva, the God of Love is honoured and worshipped on this day, since olden times, Vasant Panchami has been associated with Shingara Rasam which is the ritual of a lover dressing up for his/her beloved. This ritual is perceived as a metaphor for the relationship between an individual and the Divine.

Basant Festival Kite

A Large Kite On The Occasion Of Basant Panchmi
A Large Kite On The Occasion Of Basant Panchmi | Source

Basant Panchami Celebrations

This widely celebrated North Indian festival, besides being celebrated as the day of worship of Goddess Saraswati, is celebrated with yellow color predominating in most things done on this day.

The color yellow is not only associated with the Goddess as well as the ripe crop of mustard that is standing in the fields waiting to be harvested but with prosperity, happiness and energy as well.

The Goddess is dressed in yellow and the worshippers too dress in the same color. Traditional folk songs greeting the spring season are sung.

Two traditional sweets that are an inseparable part of these festivities are the Kesar Halwa (a pudding made with flour and saffron) and Sweet Rice (rice with saffron). See the videos below to watch how they are prepared.

Though kite flying is a popular sport in India, on this day the passion and fervor for it touches its zenith. The sky can be seen dotted with innumerable kites of various sized, colors and shapes.

Kite flying competitions are also widely held. Prizes are offered to the winner whose kite remains uncut till the end as also to those having the most beautiful kite as well as to those having the biggest kite.

Kites of sizes are big as 10 to15 feet long are specially made for this occasion.

Children and adults all get into the festive kite flying and kite fighting mood. Age is no barrier.

Rava Kesari - Sooji Kesari -Semolina Kesari - Indian Sweets

Sweet Saffron Rice

Aayee Jhoom Ke Basant Jhoomo Sang Sang Mein

© 2016 Rajan Singh Jolly


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    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      @ Flourish - Indian festivals are always colourful and kite flying has been a passion here. Thanks for stopping by.

      @Surabhi - Not to worry Surabhi, even if you do not find time to comment, I'm certain you do read my hubs. I hope you have a fruitful visit to India. All the best to you.

    • profile image

      Surabhi Kaura 2 years ago

      I vividly remember this festival, Rajan ji. I am glad that I am going to visit India this March. Nice hub! Always a delight to read whatever you write. Sorry I have been quite busy latey... will catch up with your other hubs soon.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      I bet the kite festival is marvelous. Thanks for sharing part of your culture.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 2 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      @ Devika- thanks Devika.

      @ Bill - thank you, my friend.

      @ Shaloo - thanks for reading.

      @ Marlene - surely, people do look forward to this festival and especially the opportunity to fly kites.

      @ manatita - thank you.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      A rich harvest of mustard crop and Indian delicacies. Goddess Saraswati is so special, so beautiful! The festivals are so joyful! Excellent and educational Hub.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from USA

      This is such an uplifting festival. I can imagine people having a lot of fun with all the activities. By the way, I have not flown a kite in many decades. I am sure people look forward to this event every spring.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 2 years ago from India

      Another interesting hub about a prominent festival marking the advent of Spring!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My education continues as I sit at the feet of my teacher. Thank you my friend....very interesting article.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Incredible! I enjoyed reading another one of your interesting hubs.