Vasant Panchami – Day to celebrate knowledge, prosperity and creative energy
Indian festivals are all about fun and frolic, togetherness and harmony. Fun and frolic goes in hand with delicious food and new clothes.
Vasant penchant is the time of the year that marks the beginning of transition period from winter to spring. Post Makar Sankranti, the sun will start its journey northwards from tropic of Capricorn as winter gradually fades away. This leads to warmer days. There would be pleasant change in season which gives a relief from severe winters. There is a transition period of around 30 days, spring will come to full bloom around time of Holi.
Vasant Panchami is of great significance in Indian land. It is also known as Saraswati Pooja. There is Saraswati Pooja conducted in houses and temples are decorated and thronged by devotees. It is also known as Sri Panchami in south India which happens to be one of names of goddess Lakshmi. This is also one of the days when goddess Parvati sent Kama deva to disturb Lord Shiva penance. Vasant Panchami festival is associated with three goddesses in the Hindu mythology. This is the day that celebrates knowledge, prosperity and creative energy.
Saraswati Connect –
You would be amazed by Vasant Panchami is connected to Saraswati River and goddess Saraswati. It is an ancient river which dries up in course of time. The flow of river Saraswati would get increased by melting of glaciers. The mustard plants which grew on the banks of river for many miles makes for wonderful sight. Yellow is an important colour in Indian tradition. It is colour of the spring. This is the day that celebrates knowledge. This river has important role in history. Rishis had their ashrams on this bank. It was on this bank, Vedas, Upanishads and other scripture are composed and compiled. This river is associated with goddess Saraswati, deity of knowledge and wisdom. Goddess Saraswati is draped in yellow saree. On this day, people also dress in yellow and share yellow-coloured items with friends and relatives. This is an occasion to show gratitude towards Goddess Saraswati as it is day to celebrate knowledge.
February symbolises short and sweet month
Saraswati is the goddess represent creativity, wisdom and knowledge. In old times, it was the beginning of month-long festival. It was culminated in Holi. People consider February auspicious for marriage. As per history, even the gods also got married during this period.
Story behind Vasant Panchami-
Lord Shiva was in deep penance. Takakura has attained a blessing in form of boon that only Shiva son would put an end to Takakura life. He started creating trouble all across the world. He was in that belief that lord Shiva was in deep meditation for long period of time and there was unlikely situation that he would every marry again post self -immolation of sati. But Sati reincarnated as Parvati. She has undertaken a severe penance to attain lord Shiva. This was on Vasant Panchami day that Kama deva approached Shiva and created an illusionary in Mount Kailash to bring Shiva from long penance. Shiva came out of long meditation but reduced Kama deva to ashes. He also accepted Parvati as spouse. Further on, Lord Karthikeya was born to Lord Shiva and Parvati and went ahead to destroy Tarakasura.
This festival is celebrated in different ways. In Punjab, Vasant Ritu is celebrated as festival of kites. People are dressed in yellow apparel and eats yellow rice. Sikhs men wear yellow turbans. Married couples visit temples wearing yellow clothes on first Vasant Panchami after wedding. In Rajasthan, people wear jasmine garlands on this day. In Bihar, ancient statue of Sun deity was installed on Vasant Panchami. The statue of sun god is washed and decorate with garlands and celebrations that continue in the day.
Significance of Vasant Panchami for Sufi Muslims –
It is of great importance to Sufi Muslims. As per some traditions, Sufi Amir Khusrao of Delhi observed Hindi women carrying yellow flowers on Vasant Panchami, introduced this practice for Sufi Muslims. It is the day of celebration of love and wisdom.