The people of India are celebrating Vasant Panchami on 1 February 2017. The festival which is also known as Basant Panchami is considered to be the most auspicious day of the year. Vasant Panchami and Saraswati Puja is celebrated on the fifth day of Magh Shukla. The day is also known as Shree Panchami.
It is celebrated across the country especially in North India where people wear yellow-coloured clothes to mark the festival. Ever wonder why yellow is picked as a colour for this day? The reasons will surprise you in a good way!
The colour signifies the ripening of crops and fruits. In North India, the blooming mustard fields give an illusion of yellow fields all around. People put turmeric tilak on their forehead, wear yellow clothes and offer yellow flowers to the goddess. The colour stands for happiness, clarity, positivity, honour, joy, energy optimism, freshness, and enlightenment.
Here are some of the interesting facts that are associated with the festival that people share as folklores and folktales with the others.
Kalidasa and his journey:
It is said that before being a renowned poet, Kalidasa was married to a princess who did not respect him. Saddened by the truth, Kalidasa decided to take his life away by jumping into a river. Before taking a plunge, Goddess Saraswati appeared. The Goddess who is an epitome of knowledge asked him to take a dip in the water.
The man obeyed only to come out of the water as a knowledgeable and intelligent person. Since then, the goddess is worshiped so that she can grant knowledge and intelligence to her devotees.
Aryan Race and geographical significance:
Another legend explains that when Aryans travelled through the Khyber Pass, they passed through the Saraswati river. Their journey in India was flourished by the existence of Saraswati river which in turn helped in their mainstay. They decided to celebrate the pivotal source of life in their life and since then, the day is celebrated with vigour.
Brahma Vaivarta Puran:
As per the book Brahma Vaivarta Puran, it is said that Lord Krishna granted goddess Saraswati a boon. The boon stated that she will be worshiped every year on Vasant Panchami. For people, it is also believed to be the birthday of the goddess.
It is said that when Lord Rama was in exile, he visited an elderly woman ascetic Shabri. The lord tasted the half eaten berries offered by Shabri.
Nizamuddin Auliya connect:
Once eminent poet Amir Khusrau witnessed a group of women dressed in yellow. The women were carrying mustard flowers. This intrigued Khusrau who asked them the reason behind it. He then decided to dress up in yellow and went to see the saint Nizamuddin Aulia who smiled after seeing the effort put by his disciple. Since then, the Nizamuddin dargah in Delhi organises several programs to celebrate the day.
Punjab and Kite Flying contest:
What was started by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in Punjab has now become a kite flying competition in the state. At the Golden Temple, musicians sing Basant Raga to mark the start of the occasion and continue it till the first day of Vaisakh.
We wish everyone a very Happy Vasant Panchami!