Vasant Panchami is celebrated in India to honor the Goddess of knowledge and art. The festival is a tribute to learning and music and observed in the traditional Hindu households in Bengal. Saraswati puja as the ceremony is popularly called in Bengal has evolved from prayers to an event enjoyed by the young and old. In New Delhi too, Vasant Panchami is a day to mark the beginning of the month of "Vasant" or "Basanta". It is revival from the chill winter days to the mild summer mornings. The favorable weather in most parts of the country is doubles the spirit of enthusiasm among the young people. Vasant Panchami/ Saraswati Puja is celebrated on the fifth day of the month of "Magh".
Preparation of Saraswati puja begins much before the month of February. The schools, colleges, universities, and educational institutes in Bengal are decorated with fresh flowers. The idol of Saraswati is worshipped in the morning and sweets are distributed. Students seek blessing from the Goddess for knowledge, wisdom, intelligence, and a bright future. Several households also bring in idols for worship and the immersion ceremony takes places after a day. Cultural institutions are also part of the festival. Libraries and music and dance centers have cultural performances with competitions. You can be part of this celebration, if you plan your India travel in January.
In places outside Bengal, January will be the day to welcome the spring season believed to be the rejuvenation for the dry cold weather. Trees begin to sprout leaves and life begins. Knowledge and understanding is an integral part of human life.
It is customary that girls wear yellow sarees with red borders. The color reflects the spirit of the season "Basanta". The yellow attire is draped on the idol of Goddess Saraswati as well. The morning begins by offering prayers, getting the "prasad", and tasting the Kesari halwa. It is the ideal time to travel India to be a part of the Indian celebrations. The customs, traditions, and ethnicity of the country will enthrall you once again.