Place of Celebration : All Over India
Time of Even : January-February
Significance of Festival : Spring festival
"Yaa Kundendu tushaara haaradhavalaa,
Yaa veenavara dandamanditakara,
Yaa shwetha padmaasanaa,
Yaa brahmaachyutha shankara prabhritibhir Devaisadaa Vanditha (poojitaa)
Saa Maam Paatu Saraswatee Bhagavatee Nihshesha jaadyaapahaa"
The shloka/enchanting describes Goddess Saraswathi, who is attired in a pure
white robe, adorn with a garland as white as a dew drops,and is holding the
Veena/musical instrument in her hands. The goddess is sitting on lotus. Gods
like Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva pay obeisance to Saraswati.O' Goddess Saraswati,
I pray for you to remove all laziness from my life
Vasant Panchami is a festival full of religious, seasonal and social
significance and is celebrated by Hindus all over the world with verve and new
sense of optimism. 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. Children are
taught their first words on this day (as an auspicious beginning to learning).
Schools, colleges etc., (places of learning) organise special worship of
Saraswathi. With Her grace, the mute, it is believed, have been able to speak
and people have been blessed with the ability to write or compose poems.
Musicians sing here and many even choose to perform here first.
Instrumentalists have puja performed for their instruments here. Apart from
art and culture, Goddess Saraswathi also showers Her blessings for the
education of children.
Magh Sud 5 (5th day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Magh – falls
usually in the month of January or February) is the day of Vasant Panchami and
is also celebrated as Shree Panchami or Saraswati Puja in West Bengal and few
other parts of Orissa.
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.
The moolavigraham enchants devotees as she is the embodiment of kindness
itself. Her expression is so serene and calm even as She is majestic. She is
seated on a white lotus in Padmasana, adorned by a pure white silk sari, has a
book in Her lower left hand, Her lower right hand showing the chinmudra,
Aksharamala in Her right upper hand, and Amrithakalasam in Her left upper
hand. Both eyes are full of compassion
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. The rice and flowers are showered on the deity.
Summer is heralded with a bit of colour sprinkled on the gods. Notebooks,
pencils and pens are kept at the Devi's feet for blessings and then used by
the students. A noticeboard asks the students to write their names, address
and the roll number on a piece of paper and put it in the hundi after praying
for success. It is believed the Goddess blesses them for good and positive
results. 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.
The goddess is offered Sugarcane, Kul/Jujube/Ber/Elachihannu, Apples, Dates
and Bananas. Kul/Jujube/Ber/Elachihannu is a kind of plume which grows
abundance in North India. This is distributed among the devotees. Even though
the Kul fruit is available in the market much before the festival, none are
allowed to eat until the fruit has been offered to Goddess Saraswathi on
Vasanth Panchami day. People look forward to relish the fruit on this day.
Recipes On Saraswati Puja