Saraswati Idol (Photo Credit: Instagram)
As soon as the festival of Makar Sankranti passes, people start gearing up for Vasant Panchami, the second festival of the year. Popularly celebrated as Saraswati Puja in West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, Basant Panchami is dedicated to the goddess of knowledge, arts, and music, Goddess Saraswati.
Basant Panchami is being celebrated on the fifth day (Panchami Tithi) of the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha) of the Hindu month Maagha. Devotees worship their beloved deity Saraswati to gain success in the arena of education, music and art. This year Basant Panchami will be celebrated on January 29, 2020.
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This day is marked by special prayers to Her in North India. Interestingly, the day also heralds the arrival of Spring. Basant Panchami also marks the start of preparation for Holika and Holi, which occurs 40 days later.
When is the auspicious time of worship
Basant Panchami - 29 January 2020
Pooja Muhurta - 10:45 am to 12:35 pm
Panchami date begins - 10:45 pm (29 January 2020)
Panchami date ends - 13:18 pm (30 January 2020)
Method of worshiping Saraswati
Don yellow or white clothes after bathing in the morning.
Install the idol or picture of Maa Saraswati in the north-east direction.
Offer white sandalwood, yellow and white flowers to Maa Saraswati.
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. Devotees will also observe the third "shaahi snaan" of the ongoing Kumbh on Basant Panchami during which they are expected to take a holy dip in the River Ganga, Yamuna or Saraswati.