Vasant Panchami is a festival celebrated in India, Nepal, and other countries which have people following Hinduism. Vasant Panchami, or as some call it - Basant Panchami, is a day when people go to temples to pray to Saraswati, who is the goddess of knowledge. The religious festival is also known as Saraswati Puja. Though this festival is celebrated across the country, the main regions to celebrate it are northern, central and eastern parts of India. The term Vasant Panchami literally means 'the fifth day of spring' - Vasant meaning spring, and Panchami meaning fifth day. People in Punjab fly kites on this day to mark the auspicious beginning to all good work. They call it the Basant Festival of Kites. Though we use the Gregorian calendar in our daily lives, most festivals in India are based on the Hindu calendar, which is a lunar calendar.
According to the lunar calendar, Vasant Panchami is celebrated in the month of 'Maagh', which is the eleventh month of the year. This corresponds with the months of January and February. According to the solar calendar, the month of 'Maagh' begins when the sun enters the Aquarius constellation.
The festival signifies that knowledge is supreme, and prevails over ignorance. People worship goddess Saraswati to give them the determination and energy to pursue the wealth of knowledge, and help them be wise in their daily lives.
Like most festivals in India, there is an auspicious time to for the puja (prayer ritual). Here is the date and time for Vasant Panchami:
Date for Vasant Panchami 2017- February 1, 2017
Muhurat for Vasant Panchami Puja - 07:12 hrs to 12:34 hrs (duration 5 hours and 21 minutes)
Panchami Tithi begins at - 03:41 hrs on February 1, 2017
Panchami Tithi ends at - 02:20 hrs on February 2, 2017
The color yellow signifies Vasant Panchami as it is related to the bloom of mustard flowers during this period. Goddess Saraswati is also draped in a yellow sari. People offer yellow sweets to their friends and family.