Last updated: January 26, 2023, 8:55 AM IST
BASANT PANCHAMI 2023: Every spring season begins with India celebrating one of its most vibrant festivals, Basant Panchami, also known as Saraswati Puja. Holi follows closely and falls within the same month, either February or March. This year, on January 26, the country celebrates the festival of Basant Panchami today.
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Basant Panchami occurs when the vibrant yellow blossoms of mature mustard plants are in full bloom in rural India. Surprisingly, countless spring flowers, including daffodils, are yellow all over the world. Yellow spring flowers in India include marigolds (genda), night jasmine (sheuli), yellow hyacinth, yellow lilies and forsythia bushes. Therefore, yellow is the predominant color of Basant Panchami, which, as the name implies, corresponds to the spring season.
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The festival is mainly celebrated in honor of Goddess Saraswati, who bestows the greatest wealth man has ever known, the wealth of knowledge. Yellow is considered the favorite color of the goddess. Yellow colored clothes are donned by people on this occasion as they offer yellow flowers to the goddess with a yellow tilak on their forehead. Yellow is also closely associated with prosperity, wisdom and teachers in India.
Lord Dattareya, Lord Dakshinamurti and Brisaspati or Guru (Jupiter) – all of whom are associated with imparting wisdom – are shown wearing yellow clothes in Hinduism. Associating the color with Goddess Saraswati has a deep meaning to depict her as the Goddess of Wisdom. Idols of the goddess are always adorned with yellow flowers and saris of the same hue, with white occasionally used to represent purity and knowledge. Saffron rice, ‘Sheera’, Boondi ke ladoo and khichdi, among other yellow colored snacks and sweets, are also popular.
On Basant Panchami, people in Rajasthan wear jasmine garlands, while newlywed couples in Maharashtra visit temples in yellow clothes to pray on their first Basant Panchami after marriage. Wearing yellow turbans is also a tradition in Punjab. On Basant Panchami, people in Uttarakhand worship Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, and are known to consume yellow rice or ‘meetha chawal’ and wear yellow clothes.
I hope you have your yellow clothes ready for today.
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