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Vasant Panchami and Saraswati Pooja

As the name suggests, Vasant Panchami is a famous festival that marks the end of the winter season and ushers in the springtime. This festival is usually celebrated in Magh, which is between the months of January and February.

Vasant Panchmi is also referred to as Saraswati Puja or Shree Panchami. It is believed that on this day goddess Saraswati was born. On this day Hindus worship Saraswati, goddess of wisdom. She embodies the different facets of learning such as the sciences, arts, crafts and skills.  She is said to be calm and collected. She is often pictured seated on a lotus or a peacock, wearing a white dress.

Another tradition associated with this day is that of initiating studies in the young. Young children often begin learning on this day. Many Educational Institutes organize the special Pooja for goddess Sarswati.

In today’s times, the festival is celebrated by farmers as the on-coming of the spring season. The day is largely celebrated in Northern Parts of India. Here, people offer food to the Brahmins and organize rituals in the name of Goddess Saraswati.

Yellow color is the color of this festival. On this day, young girls wear bright yellow dresses and participate in the festivities. The color yellow holds a special meaning for this celebration as it signifies the brilliance of nature and the vibrancy of life. The whole place bursts with yellow during the festival.

People dress in yellow and they offer yellow flowers to others and to the gods and goddesses.  They also prepare and feast on a special pastry called kesar halwa or kesar halva, which is made from flour, sugar, nuts, and cardamom powder. This dish also includes saffron strands, which gives it a vibrant yellow color and mild fragrance. During the Vasant Panchami festival, India’s crop fields are filled with the color yellow, as the yellow mustard flowers bloom at this time of the year. Pens, notebooks, and pencils are placed near the goddess Devi's feet to be blessed before they are used by students.