India is a land of varied festivals with each having its own inherent meaning and significance. People in the country follow diverse customs and traditions, but festivals act as a major binding agent among people. One of the most popular festivals which are around the corner is Basant Panchami, a day that is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Saraswati. This year, Basant Panchami will be celebrated on January 29, Wednesday.
The Panchami Tithi shall commence at 10:45 AM on January 29 and conclude at 1:19 PM on January 30.
Date, Timings and Tithi of Basant Panchami 2020:
Though the entire duration of the day is believed to be auspicious, the ideal time for performing the puja is during the Madhyana or afternoon.
This year, the timings will be as follows:
- Vasant Panchami Muhurat – 10:45 AM to 12:34 PM
- Vasant Panchami Madhyahna timing – 12:34 PM
Meaning of Basant Panchami:
- The fifth day (Panchami Tithi) in the Hindu month of Magha during Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of the Moon) is known as Basant Panchami.
- This day is associated with the celebrations of the onset of the spring season and one pays ode to Maa Saraswati, the Goddess of learning, arts and music.
Significance of Basant Panchami:
- Spring is a beautiful season that makes flowers bloom. It gives people relief from the bone-chilling weather and provides much-needed warmth and comfort.
- The mustard field looks like a yellow bed of blossoms, and this colour is considered auspicious. Moreover, on this day, people wear yellow coloured clothes. Yellow symbolizes, joy, bliss, and prosperity. And hence the significance.
- The colour yellow is also believed to be Maa Saraswati’s favourite. Basant Panchami is the day when the Goddess is worshipped, and her blessings are sought for an enlightened life.
How do people celebrate Basant Panchami?
- People get dressed in yellow coloured clothes and fly kites. And those who have small children, ask them to initiate the l.
- This tradition is called Vidyarambam (Vidya + Aarambh), meaning the beginning of Vidya. The ritual is also referred to as Aksharabhyasam (Akshar + Abhyas) meaning learning of the letters or Akshar.
- People also perform Saraswati Puja followed by a feast.
History of Basant Panchami:
- According to a legend associated with Basant Panchami, the day is dedicated to celebrating the union of Kama Deva (the God of love) and his wife, Rati.
- It also marks the coming together of Shiva and Parvati. It is believed that Parvati sought Kama’s help to awaken Shiva from his deep state of meditation. Kama Deva used his bow made of sugarcane and aimed an arrow of flowers at Shiva to bring him back to the world that needed his attention.
- From a spiritual perspective, it symbolises the return of Shiva from the state of Vairagya (dispassion) to Grihastha (family).