Basant Panchami 2018: Significance of the Colourful Harvest Festival and Feasting 

Basant Panchami is also celebrated as 'Saraswati Puja' in many communities.This year the festival would be celebrated on 22nd January, 2018

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Basant Panchami 2018: Significance of the Colourful Harvest Festival and Feasting
The season of festivals is back and we can't be happier. India is often called the land of festivals and  there is a good reason for it. Even though we just got done with Makar Sankranti celebrations, it is already time to gear up for Basant Panchami preparations. Basant Panchami celebrates the onset of spring and harvest after the cold and dreary winter months. This year the festival would be celebrated on 22nd January, 2018. Basant Panchami is also celebrated as 'Saraswati Puja' in many communities. On the auspicious occasion, the Goddess of knowledge is worshipped by students and toddlers for her divine blessings. People who are involved in music also seek the blessings of the Goddess, as the Veena holding Goddess also happens to be the goddess of music and art.On this auspicious day, a lot of traditional delicacies are also prepared and savoured by many people. Most of the dishes are in yellow hue signifying the color of Vasant Panchami.
 


Basant Panchami is celebrated on the fifth day of Maagh (a month in the Hindu calendar) each year and is celebrated in ways unique to each community. The word 'Basant' means spring and 'Panchmi' denotes the fifth day on which the festival falls.

Bengalis choose this auspicious day to introduce their toddlers to reading and writing on this day. Little children are made to write their first letters on a slate with adult supervision in front of the idol of Goddess Sarsawati. Students keep their notebooks, pens and educational items near the statue of Goddess Saraswati and distribute sweets among the devotees, in the afternoon everybody proceeds towards delicious bhog that has Khichdi, mixed vegetable and festive favourite Payesh. Many schools organise cultural events to celebrate the festival.

Some communities also do Pitr-arpan as a mark of respect and to call for peace for departed souls. The God of love, Kamadeva is also worshipped on this day. In Punjab, people deck up in bright yellow coloured clothes, fly kites and relish on Meethe Chawal or sweet rice. The colour yellow is symbolic of the vibrance of spring. After braving through the harsh winters, people welcome the spring donning the brightest colour of nature - yellow. People also offer yellow flowers and yellow sweets. Kesar halwa, sweet rice garnished with saffron is popularly prepared in households.
 

The beautiful festival marks the onset of spring. Spring is considered to be the greatest of all seasons in the Indian culture. Free from the scorching heat and the cold bites or dodgy rains, it is in the spring that plants and trees blossom with beautiful flowers and fresh fruits. Here's wishing you a hearty spring and a beautiful Basant Panchami 2018 to all of you! 
 

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