Bhakti Charu Swami on Vasant Panchmi

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Published on Jan 22, 2015

Vasant Panchami , or Basant Panchami, refers to two festivals: the religious festival of Saraswati Puja , also called Shree Panchami and the seasonal spring festival of Vasant Panchami which in the Punjab region is known as the Basant Festival of Kites. The festival is observed as a Sikh and Hindu festival on the fifth day of Magha.

Vasant Panchami is the first and more minor of two spring-themed festivals in Hindu culture. Vasant Panchami initiates the spring festive cycle and heralds its summation that occurs with Holi. In ancient Indian literature, Vasant Panchami is associated with Shringara Rasam and the festival was celebrated in this tradition. Celebrations today still honor Kamadeva, his wife Rati, and his friend Vasant (the personification of Spring).

In modern times, however, Vasant Panchami day is more commonly associated with Maa Saraswati, the goddess of learning, wisdom, knowledge, fine arts, refinement, science and technology. Goddess Saraswati is worshipped and the day is treated by celebrants as Saraswati’s birthday. People worship Goddess Saraswati to attain enlightenment through knowledge and to rid themselves of lethargy, sluggishness and ignorance.
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