VAS­ANT PAN­CHAMI

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Vas­ant Pan­chami, also known as ‘Shri Pan­chami’ and ‘Saraswati Pan­chami’ is a Hindu spring fes­ti­val cel­e­brated ev­ery year on the fifth day of the Hindu cal­en­dar month of ‘Magha’. The word ‘Vas­ant’ means ‘spring’ and ‘Pan­chami’ sig­ni­fies ‘the fifth day’ and hence the fes­ti­val is termed as Vas­ant Pan­chami. This day is ded­i­cated to ‘Saraswati’ who be­queaths the wealth of knowl­edge to hu­man­ity.

She is known as the God­dess of learn­ing, mu­sic, arts and sci­ence.

Le­gends say that God­dess Saraswati was born on this day. Hence, stu­dents wor­ship the god­dess on this day. ‘Ak­sharAb­hyasam’ or the rit­ual of ini­ti­at­ing ed­u­ca­tion to chil­dren is per­formed on this day.

Spe­cial ‘ha­vans’ are or­gan­ised by var­i­ous schools and col­leges on this day to seek bless­ing of the God­dess. Some peo­ple mark this day as the fes­ti­val of ‘the God of Love’ ‘Ka­madeva’. Peo­ple cel­e­brate it by pre­sent­ing flow­ers to their loved ones. The Hindu peo­ple of In­done­sia, es­pe­cially in the is­land of ‘Bali’ cel­e­brate this fes­ti­val as ‘Hari

Raya Saraswati’, mean­ing the great day of Saraswati.

The Vas­ant

Pan­chami fes­ti­val also marks the start of prepa­ra­tion for 'Holi', which oc­curs forty days later.

In Hindu mythol­ogy, God­dess Saraswati is de­scribed as a pris­tine lady. She is the wife of Brahma. She is be­decked with white at­tire, white flow­ers and white pearls. She sits on a white lo­tus, which blooms in a wide stretch of wa­ter. The God­dess also holds a ‘Veena’, for play­ing mu­sic. She rides on a white swan. Her favourite colour is yel­low.

'Yel­low' which also sig­ni­fies the ripen­ing of fruits and crops is the dom­i­nant colour of this fes­ti­val. The mus­tard fields bloom with yel­low flow­ers dur­ing this sea­son. Hence, peo­ple wear yel­low clothes, eat yel­low rice, of­fer yel­low flow­ers to God­dess and put a yel­low turmeric ti­lak on their fore­head.

Some com­mu­ni­ties in In­dia per­form the ‘Pitru-tarpan’ (mean­ing puja for de­parted soul) on this day. Af­ter per­form­ing the ‘Pitru-tarpan’, Brah­mins are fed.

This year Vas­ant Pan­chami falls on 22nd of Jan­uary i.e. Mon­day. Pan­chami Tithi Be­gins at 17:03 on 21st Jan­uary, 2018 and Pan­chami Tithi Ends at 17:54 on 22nd Jan., 2018.

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