National Hindu Students Forum (UK)

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Vasant Panchmi 2011

By Sanjay Parekh
NHSF Learning Team


7th February 2011 (Magh Sud 5 in the Hindu calendar)

Vasant Panchmi is a very significant festival in the Hindu calendar, dedicated to the Goddess of Knowledge, Music and Art, Saraswati (Diwali is dedicated to Lakshmi and Navratri is dedicated to Durga and Kali). ‘Vasant’ means spring and the day welcomes the blooming of the new season. It is the time when the sun enters the Meen ‘rashi’ (Pisces).

Symbolism

Vasant Panchmi is a festival full of religious, seasonal and social significance. It is also known as Saraswati day, and celebrated Hindus all over the world with great enthusiasm and a new sense of optimism.

Vasant Panchmi heralds change and signifies the forthcoming festival of Holi. The seasons undergo change, from the dark winter months to bright and joyous spring season. New life is much evident in nature; flowers blossom, mango trees start to grow and other crops show signs of a new life.

Festival Celebrations/Rituals

During Vasant Panchmi children are taught their first words, signifying an auspicious beginning to learning. The worship and offering special prayers to Saraswati is held at many schools. People also feed Brahmins and worship ancestors (Pitri-Tarpan). Some people also worship the god of love, Kamdev.

The colour yellow is very significant on this day. Mandirs adorn Saraswati murtis in yellow dress and Puja and Havan are conducted. Men and women also try to observe wearing yellow garments and yellow sweetmeats are shared.

Date:

8th February 2011 (Magh Sud 5 - Hindu calendar)

Popular in:

All across India

Origins:

Festival dedicated to the Goddess, Saraswati