Date: 1st February, 2017
Saraswati Puja or Vasant Panchami marks the starting of the starting of spring season. Hindus rejoice the spring festival with full joy and exuberance. Saraswati Puja is celebrated in Hindu month, Maagh (January - February) and on the fifth day of the spring season.The importance of Saraswati Puja
This festival is dedicated to the Goddess Saraswati and on this day, she is worshipped for spiritual enlightenment. The Goddess encompasses wisdom, learning, fine arts, and wisdom. Saraswati is the Goddess of wisdom and knowledge. As per Hindu mythology, she signifies constant flow of wisdom and knowledge. This festival is commemorated in educational institutions as she is considered as the Goddess of learning.Legends
It is mentioned in the Vedas that Saraswati is a water divinity and she is venerated for fertilizing, purifying and enriching powers. The Goddess invented Sanskrit, the mother of all the languages, scholarships and scriptures. It is also said that she was the one discovered amrita or soma (nectar).
As per Matsya Purana, the divine being evolved from the creator of world- Lord Brahma. The Goddess was very graceful and elegance that Lord Brahma pursued her. She was one of the most beautiful and unique creations of Lord Brahma, the lotus, and the moon connected with Saraswati are both the signs of perpetual womanhood.
In some places, it is also mentioned that Saraswati was the daughter of Sun God. In western regions of India, people relate her with peacock or lion as she was married to Kartikeya, the son of Lord Shiva. Another legend states that once the two great saints, Vishwamitra and Vashishtha were both viciously against each other. One day, Vishwamitra ordered river Saraswati to wash away Vashishtha and all the things possessed by him, but she declined to obey his command. Vashishtha in anger punished Saraswati and the water of the river will turned into blood. At the behest of Lord Shiva, Vishwamitra became kind and purified the river water.Saraswati Puja Rituals and Customs
The Goddess of knowledge Saraswati is worshipped on this day. This Indian festival holds special importance for the students. They place their books at the feet of the Goddess and pray to seek her blessings and wisdom.
A special thali is arranged to perform Puja, which contain holy items like yellow flowers, moli, yellow colored sweets, fruits, roli, and gulal. The offerings made to the Goddess must include yoghurt, jaggery, puffed rice, and palash flowers. Red moli thread is tied on an earthen pot and the priest submerges it in the river on the next day of the Puja. People on Saraswati Puja or Vasant Panchami wear yellow colored clothes. Sweet dishes like yellow rice are prepared on this day and distributed amid family members and relatives.