Kolkata: Basant Panchmi or as some say Vasant Panchami is being celebrated on the fifth day (Panchami Tithi) of the bright fortnight (Shukla Paksha) of the Hindu month Magh. Hindus all over India, Nepal and other countries get into the celebratory mood with this fervour of festivity. This year the festival will be celebrated on Monday, January 22.
The auspicious day marks the beginning of spring season (Vasant Ritu) and is being dedicated to Goddess of knowledge Saraswati. Devotees worship their beloved deity Saraswati to gain success in the field of education, music and art.
Vasant Panchami is also known as Shri Panchami and Saraswati Panchami. 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. Experts suggest that the Saraswati Puja should be performed during Purvahna Kala – the time between the sunrise and the midday.
The festival is mostly celebrated in educational institutes across the country and girls drape themselves in yellow sarees while boys wear ethnic attires in yellow. Schools and colleges also organise various cultural programmes to celebrate the day.
Saraswati Ya Kundendu is the most famous Stuti dedicated to Goddess Saraswati and part of the famous Saraswati Stotram. It is recited during Saraswati Puja on the eve of Vasant Panchami.
Om Bhadro Kallyoi Namo Nityan
Saraswatyoi Namo Namah
Veda Vedanta Vedanga
Ebacho esso swachandana
Om Oing Shree Shree Saraswatoi Namoh
Om Jay Jay Debi Characharo Sare
Kuchojugo Shobhito Mukta Hare
Veena Ranjito Pustaka Haste
Bhagobati Bharati Debi Namohstute
Om Saraswati Maha Bhage
Vidya Kamolo Lochone
Vidyang dehi namohastuteIt is considered auspicious if children worship Saraswati Maa, the goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and learning. People feed Brahmans on this occasion and also perform Pitra-Tarpan, the traditional ancestral worship. Basant Panchami is the day when children are taught their first words, making it an auspicious occasion which marks the beginning of their learning process.