| Basant |
| Magh Basant |
A festival not only gives a welcome break but also adds
Basant Panchami, the fifth day of spring, is celebrated by propitiating Goddess Saraswati. As she
Saraswati’s vahan or vehicle is the hans or swan. The swan has the ability to hold the mix of water and milk in its beak and spew out pure water from one side and milk from the other side. This is known as neer-
Basant Panchami heralds the beginning of spring. Cool lingering breeze replaces the cold harsh winter and there is a touch
|Time(indian calendar Tithi):|
|Best time to visit: The festival lies in the month of January-February.|
|Bihar climate in general is tropical with hot summers and cold winters. There are regional variations. Some parts of the state like Ranchi,Netarhat, and Parasnath have pleasant climate even during the summers. Maximum rainfall takes place during the months from July to September accounting for more than 90% of total rainfall in the state.|
|‘Since the Vasant festival (utsav) starts from the fifth day (panchami) in the bright fortnight of the Hindu lunar month of Magh, that day is called Vasant panchami. The objective of celebrating this festival is to rejoice over and to enjoy the Bliss from the new found divine consciousness (chaitanya) and new creation in Nature. It is also said that Madan, the deity of sex was born on this day. People used to ritualistically worship and pray to Madan and Rati (His wife) for a happy married life. On this day ears of grain of the new harvest are offered to the deity at home and are eaten as new grains (navanna). Since the deity Sarasvati was created on this day, She too is worshipped. It is also considered as the birthday of the deity Lakshmi. Hence this day is also called Shripanchami.’|
|Importance of festival:|
| The festival of Basant Panchami also marks the beginning of Holi Baithaks. Basant Panchami is celebrated according to the Hindu calendar in the month of Magh. It usually falls in late January or early February. People worship Goddess Saraswati, goddess of intelligence, wisdom and arts. They teach first words to their children and keep their books, notebooks, pens etc near the foot of Ma Saraswati’s idol for her blessings. People fly kites and have various competitions for the same. |
The festival of Basant Panchami is dedicated to Saraswati, the Goddess of Wisdom. According to the Hindu mythology, the goddess symbolizes constant flow of knowledge and wisdom. Vasant Panchami is also believed as the birthday of Goddess Saraswati. The spring festival of Basant Panchami is especially celebrated in the institutions of learning. As Saraswati is the goddess of learning, Students observe the blessings from Maa Saraswati. Spring is the season when crops are fully bloomed, so people also celebrate this occasion by flying kites.
|Method of Celebration:|
| The Dances and Fair:|
The people welcome spring or Basant singing and dancing. The atmosphere resounds with the jingles of the pounding drums. Chounphula and Jhumelia dances are performed on the occasion of Basant Panchami by them. A fair At Rishikesh in Uttaranchal is held within the grounds of the Bharat temple on the occasion of Vasant Panchami. An extremely grand procession of the idol of Lord Bharat is carried through the town demonstrating lots of pomp and splendor. This idol was installed in the temple on this day by Jagat Guru Shankaracharya.
The “Prasadam” for the Goddess at the time of Basant Panchami celebrations varies from community to community. Some offers “Ber”/- a fruit, that is found in abundance in Northern and Eastern India, or “Sangari”- a kind of bean that grows on the roots of the radish plant.
The mythological history of Sarasvati associates her with the holy rituals performed on the banks of the river Sarasvati. She is worshipped as a goddess of speech, attributed to the formation of (words), invention of Sanskrit language and composition of hymns. There are various rituals that are followed in the worshipping of goddess Saraswati. The ones common to all those worshipping Saraswati are that the idol of the goddess is clothed in white, the other predominant colour in the celebrations is yellow, to indicate the onset of spring and the blossoming of mustard flowers. Flowers and wild berries are offered to the goddess and students place their books before the deity and do not do any reading or writing that day. An elaborate puja, with sandalwood, ghee, joss sticks, and incense is done to the sound of shlokas, conch shells, and drums. A ritual not connected to the worship but equally essential to the celebration is that of flying kites on this day.
The day of Basant Panchami is dedicated to Goddess Sarasvati. Sarasvati is the goddess of learning who bequeaths the greatest wealth to humanity, the wealth of knowledge. Hindu mythology depicts Sarasvati as a pristine lady bedecked with white attire, white flowers and white pearls, sitting on a white lotus, which blooms in a wide stretch of water. The Goddess also holds Veena, a string-instrument, like Sitar, for playing music. The prayer of Sarasvati finally concludes as, “Oh Mother Sarasvati remove the darkness (ignorance) of my mind and bless me with the eternal knowledge.”
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|Culture of festivities:|
|The festival is celebrated with full vivacity and festivity to mark the end of the winters. It is one of the first festivals of the Year and is c|