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15th February: Saraswati Puja – Vasant Panchami 2013

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on February 15, 2013

Saraswati ist the Hindu Goddess of learning, s...

Saraswati ist the Hindu Goddess of learning, speech and arts, in her left hand her instrument, the vina. The Vitarka Mudra is the hand gesture of teaching and discussion. An Altar on Vasant Panchami, the festival of the goddess. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vasant Panchami (Hindi: वसन्त पञ्चमी), sometimes referred to as Saraswati Puja or Shree Panchami, is a Hindu festival. On this day Hindus worship Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, music, art and culture.

Occurrence

It is celebrated every year on the fifth day of the Indian month of Magh (spring season)[january to february]. It is celebrated as Saraswati Puja in the states of Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand and Bengal.

Traditions

Traditionally during this festival children are taught to write their first words; Brahmins are invited for lunch; ancestor worship (Pitr-tarpan) is performed; the god of love Kamadeva is worshipped; and most educational institutions organize special prayer or puja for Saraswati. Children generally fly kites on this auspicious occasion

The color yellow also plays an important role in this festival. People usually wear yellow garments, Saraswati is worshiped in a yellow dress, and yellow sweets are consumed within the families.

In Firozpur it is known as “Kite Festivalz”. Children buy Dor (Thread) and Guddi or “Patang” (Kites) in huge quantity to fly. People from all around the world come to enjoy this festival.

Etymology

Goddess Saraswati prepared for Saraswati Festi...

Goddess Saraswati prepared for Saraswati Festival in the streets of Kolkata (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vasant Panchami has a specific meaning, Vasant means spring, whereas Panchami means the fifth day. And Vasant Panchami falls on the fifth day of spring As per another mythological story, this day Lord Rama ate half tasted berries (ber) of Shabari and to commemorate this day, the festival of Vasant Panchami is celebrated.

Overseas Celebrations

The festival is celebrated by the Indian diaspora based at Nottingham, UK, every year under the aegis of the socio-cultural group Jhankar-NICA. Saraswati Puja on Vasant Panchami 2013

Vasant Panchami day is dedicated to Maa Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge, music, arts, science and technology. Goddess Saraswati is worshipped on Vasant Panchami day. Vasant Panchami is also known as Shri Panchami and Saraswati Panchami.

People worship Goddess Saraswati to get enlighten with knowledge and to get rid of lethargy, sluggishness and ignorance. Traditionally during this festival children are taught to write their first words. This ritual of initiating education to children is known as Akshar-Abhyasam or Vidya-Arambham/Praasana which is one of the famous rituals of Vasant Panchami. Schools and colleges arrange pujas in the morning to seek blessing of the Goddess.

Purvahna Kaal, which falls between late morning and early afternoon, is considered to decide Vasant Panchami day. Vasant Panchami is celebrated on the day when Panchami Tithi prevails during Purvahna Kaal. Due to which Vasant Panchami might also fall on Chaturthi Tithi.

Many astrologers consider Vasant Panchami as Abujha(अबूझ) day which is auspicious to start all good work. According to this belief whole Vasant Panchami day is auspicious to perform Saraswati Puja.

Although there is no special time to perform Saraswati Puja on Vasant Panchami day one should make sure that Puja is done when Panchami Tithi is prevailing. Many times Panchami Tithi doesn’t prevail whole of the day on Vasant Panchami day hence we believe that it is important to do Saraswati puja within Panchami Tithi.

DrikPanchang.com suggests Saraswati Puja time during Purvahna kaal while Panchami Tithi is prevailing. Purvahna kaal falls between late morning and early afternoon which is also the time when most people perform Saraswati Puja including schools and colleges in India.

(Source: 02/2013 – Wikipedia.org)

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