Monday, June 5, 2023
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Vasant Panchami

Goddess Saraswathi
Place: North India
Significance: Spring festival

Vasant Panchami is the 'Spring Festival' in North India falling on the 5th day of Phalguna. This day is specially dedicated to Saraswathi the goddess of learning, wisdom, fine arts and refinement. It is the ceremonial welcome to spring when first change in the departing winter is noticed. 

On this day, people colourfully attired, especially in bright shades of yellow, dance and sing and make merry. Yellow colour signifies maturity and ripeness-a glow of all that is auspicious to a Hindu mindset. A grand puja is held for goddess Saraswathi, the goddess of creativity who is the wife of Brahma, the source of creation.  

 At the beginning of the puja the youngest girl of the house or the one present, applies teeka on everyone’s forehead and then sprinkles water. Teeka is applied to the deity also at least thrice with liquid. The rice and flowers are picked up by the fingers and thumb and showered on to the gods. Summer is heralded with a bit of colour sprinkled on the gods. The prasadam of the goddess varies from community to community. Some have 'Ber' and 'Sangari' for the prasadam. Ber is a kind of plume which grows abundance in North India. 'Sangari' or 'Mooli ki phali' is a kind of bean that develops in the radish plant. These two items are placed in a large metal platter called 'thali' along with some yellow coloured  sweets,  preferably-besan, burfis or ladoos placed in it and paan (beetel leaf) along with coconut are given to everyone present for the puja.

Following the pooja, the members of the household assembles on the roof top to enjoy kite flying. Hindus all over the world celebrate this festival with great enthusiasm. Some people feed Brahmans on this day. Pitri-Tarpan (ancestor worship) is done on this day.

Festivals - North India

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