Yes, when the Indian Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning steps into earth on the fifth day of Magh, the Indian month, and then you know that the Hindu festival Basant Panchami has augmented. It is the initiating day of the season spring. In olden times, and even practiced by many today, Basant Panchami or Vasant panchami is a festival where children are taught the art of writing, reading and other skills. People worship their ancestors on this day and the Indian god of love Kamdev is also worshipped. Goddess Saraswati is depicted in the yellow color and so everyone is dressed in yellow on this day. All is yellow and beautiful and even the delicacies prepared are yellow. It is a festival of kites also in some places so people fly kites on this day.
There is a lot of significance religiously, socially and seasonally to this festival and the entire ambience is one of energy, verve and enthusiasm. Many institutions also organize a lot of programmes in dedication to Goddess Saraswati. This goddess is basically worshipped for getting enlightened spiritually. Most of the saints, learned people and the scholars worship goddess Saraswati. The white swan in which Saraswati is seen riding symbolizes the purity with which we should view life and also explains that we shouldn’t discriminate between people.
Vasant Panchami is that time of the year when there is a change after the long winter. The trees start blooming and there are new plants everywhere. Suddenly from the cold winter everything is pleasant and green. Mangoes with their blossoms and the other crops like wheat ready to completely enrich our lives signify the augment of Vasant Panchami.
In the Indian state of Punjab there is a kite festival during Vasant Panchami. With Goddess Saraswati smiling benevolently on us, the kite festival encourages all the girls and the boys to fly kites and it teaches them a lot of unity and co-operation. So the Goddess Saraswati initiates the process of being united and co-operative thus giving the festival its true meaning. Basant means spring and Panchami means the fifth day. So Vasant Panchami signifies the first day of the season of spring. The kite festival makes the entire festival very colorful and there is lot of vibrant ambience in all parts of India. In West Bengal, people keep idols of the Goddess Saraswati and worship her and then take her for immersion with due pomp and glory.
Goddess Saraswati has all parts of her body signifying a lot of meaning. Her four hands signify the ego, alertness, mind and intellect. Also the fact that Goddess Saraswati sits on the lotus signifies that she is wise and we should learn to be wise like her. The veena is the instrument she plays and she teaches us how to view life with a tune of love and passion. Sometimes Goddess Saraswati is also seen riding a peacock showing that we can hold back strong egos if we will.
Festivals sometimes teach us how to view life and Goddess Saraswati does that through the Vasant Panchami.