Vasant panchmi, (Vasant means spring and panchami refers to fifth day) is celebrated by Hindus in honour of Devi Saraswati, the deity of wisdom, learning and music. It falls on the fifth day of shuklapaksh (bright fortnight) of Magh month, as per the Hindu calendar. According to the Western calendar, it occurs in either January or February.The festival also denotes the arrival of the spring season. Vasant Panchami precedes Holi, the festival of colours, which too is observed during this season. The onset of spring is felt in the atmosphere, with the wind changing from cold to balmy, new shoots and blossoms appearing on plants, and the dreariness of winter giving way to the freshness of spring. The festivities acquire local flavor and customs and rituals vary in different parts of India. Yellow is the predominant color—being the colour of spring, and a symbol of hope, happiness and prosperity.Saraswati PujaVasant Panchami is also referred to as Saraswati Puja (puja means ceremonial prayer), and worshipping of goddess is the principal activity on this day. According to ancient texts, it is the birthday of Devi Saraswati. She is usually depicted as either holding or playing veena, a traditional Indian string instrument. She belongs to the trinity of the great goddesses in the Hindu tradition, the other two being Lakshmi and Durga.The festival is celebrated mainly in northern and eastern India. In other regions, the customs and rituals vary on this day. It is also observed by many people among the Hindu diaspora worldwide. In Nepal, it is celebrated with enthusiasm. The goddess is also worshipped in Japan, Indonesia, Bali and Myanmar. In Japan, she is known as Benzaiten, the Buddhist goddess of knowledge, music and speech.
Vasant Panchami Activities
Auspicious Occasion: As Devi Saraswati is considered the goddess of learning and fine arts, scholars and artists belonging to the above disciplines seek her blessings on this day. Temples and idols of Goddess Saraswati are decorated.Flowers and food is kept inside the temple a day in advance so that the goddess can join them in festivities the next day. On the festival day, the people visit the temples in droves; often dressed in shades of yellow.An aarti (ceremonial worship with lighted lamps) is performed, accompanied by the chanting of hymns. The goddess is invoked for skill, wisdom and eloquence.

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