Basant Panchmi or as some say Vasant Panchami is being celebrated on the fifth day (Panchami Tithi) of the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha) of the Hindu month Maagha. Hindus all over India, Nepal and other countries get into the celebratory mood with this fervour of festivity. This year the festival will be celebrated on Monday, January 22.
The auspicious day marks the beginning of spring season (Vasant Ritu) and is being dedicated to Goddess of knowledge Maa Saraswati. Devotees worship their beloved deity Saraswati to gain success in the arena of education, music and art.
Vasant Panchami is also known as Shri Panchami and Saraswati Panchami. Although there is no special time to perform Saraswati Puja on Vasant Panchami day, one should make sure that Puja is done when Panchami Tithi is prevailing. Experts suggest that the Saraswati Puja should be performed during Purvahna Kala - the time between the sunrise and the midday.
The festival is mostly celebrated in educational institutes across the country and girls drape themselves in yellow sarees while boys wear ethnic attires in yellow. Schools and colleges also organise various cultural programmes to mark the day.
Moreover, people from different cultures celebrate Saraswati Puja in different ways across the country.
While in West Bengal this day is kindred with the emotions of love and emotional anticipation, devotees in Punjab enjoy the day by flying kites on their rooftops. Rajasthanis wear jasmine garlands on the occasion of Saraswati Puja.
In Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh, people seek blessings from Shiva and Parvati. They also offer mango flowers and wheat during the puja.
Saraswati Ya Kundendu is the most famous Stuti dedicated to Goddess Saraswati and part of the famous Saraswati Stotram. It is recited during Saraswati Puja on the eve of Vasant Panchami.
Saraswati Puja on Vasant Panchami Muhurta:
Vasant Panchami Puja Muhurta = 07:17 to 12:32
Duration = 5 Hours 15 Mins
Panchami Tithi Begins = 15:33 on 21/Jan/2018
Panchami Tithi Ends = 16:24 on 22/Jan/2018
The Puja becomes even more powerful when worshipers recite Saraswati Stotra along with the other rituals.
Om Bhadro Kallyoi Namo Nityan
Saraswatyoi Namo Namah
Veda Vedanta Vedanga
Ebacho esso swachandana
Om Oing Shree Shree Saraswatoi Namoh
Om Jay Jay Debi Characharo Sare
Kuchojugo Shobhito Mukta Hare
Veena Ranjito Pustaka Haste
Bhagobati Bharati Debi Namohstute
Om Saraswati Maha Bhage
Vidya Kamolo Lochone
Vidyang dehi namohastute
It is considered auspicious if children worship Saraswati Maa, the goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and learning. People feed Brahmans on this occasion and also perform Pitra-Tarpan, the traditional ancestral worship. Basant Panchami is the day when children are taught their first words, making it an auspicious occasion which marks the beginning of their learning process.