Basant Pancham is a harvest festival that marks the arrival of spring season. Dedicated to Goddess Saraswati, the festival is celebrated on the fifth day of Magha month, as per the Hindu calendar. This year the festival falls on January 29.
On this day people worship Devi Saraswati. As per Hindu mythology, Saraswati is considered to be the goddess of intellect, wisdom, and learning. The goddess has four hands and each hand symbolizes intellect, ego, alertness and the mind. People conduct prayers and seek blessings from the Goddess by following some rituals.
One can start the day by waking up early, cleaning the house and taking a bath to begin with the Saraswati pooja. Since yellow is believed to be the favourite colour of the goddess, one can apply neem and turmeric all over their body paste before taking a bath. Also, one can get dressed in yellow coloured outfits.
Next step is to place the Saraswati idol in the pooja platform area. One can take a yellow cloth to place the idol over it. After that, place the idol in the centre. One can also place an idol of Lord Ganesha beside the Goddess.
Place notebooks, books, pens, musical instruments or any other creative elements near the idol or at the feet of the goddess. Then, decorate plate rice, turmeric, kumkum, turmeric and flowers in it. Then offer it to Devi Saraswati and Lord Ganesha and seek blessings from the two. Light a lamp and incense sticks in front of the idols. Close your eyes, join the palms of hand and recite the Saraswati pooja or mantra. Once the rituals are over, share prasad with family and friends.
Devi Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge and wisdom and symbolises creative energy. In many regions of the country, it is considered an auspicious day for kids to start learning their first words with pencils or pens. People dress in yellow coloured clothes, share yellow coloured cuisines and offer yellow coloured flowers to the Devi. Many schools conduct prayers on Basant Panchami to seek blessing from Saraswati.