Saraswati Puja / Vasant Panchmi
Vasant Panchami, also called Saraswati Puja in honor of the Hindu goddess Saraswati, is a festival that marks the preparation for the arrival of spring.
The festival is celebrated in Indian religions in different ways depending on the region. Vasant Panchami also marks the start of preparation for Holika and Holi, which take place forty days later.
The Vasant Utsava (festival) on Panchami is celebrated forty days before spring, because any season's transition period is 40 days, and after that, the season comes into full bloom.
People dress in yellow coloured clothes for the occassion.
Goddess Saraswati’s idols are covered in yellow sarees as it is believed that it is one of her favourite colours. Yellow symbolises, joy, bliss and prosperity. Goddess Saraswati is the one who gives us wisdom. In India the mustard flowers bloom, and entire fields of mustard flowers resemble beds of yellow flowers when in full bloom.
The story behind it:
Once upon a time, Lord Brahma, the one responsible for creating the world in which we live, wanted to see it with his own eyes. So, off he went expecting to be dazzled and in awe. Instead, he was met with complete silence. Not even a bird chirping in the distance. Everyone just seemed so... sad. He had an idea.
He was holding a pot of water so he scooped some in the palm of his hand and sprinkled it in the air. And just like that, out of thin air, appeared Goddess Saraswati with a veena in her hands.
Brahma requested her to play something because the silence was too deafening. She not only blessed the people of the earth with music but with voice as well.
Ever since, she became known as the Goddess of knowledge, music, art, speech, wisdom, and learning. Thus, Saraswati is always shown holding a book, a mala, a water pot and the veena. Vasant Panchami is celebrated as an ode to her. The day also marks the beginning of agricultural fields blossoming with mustard flowers.