Saturday, March 10, 2012

Vasant Panchami

Vasant Panchami (Devnagari:वसन्त पञ्चमी), sometimes referred to as Vasant Panchami or Shree Panchami (Devnagari:श्रीपञ्चमी), is a Hindu festival celebrating Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, music and art. It is celebrated every year on the fifth day (Panchami) of the Indian month Magh (January-February), the first day of spring. Traditionally during this festival children are taught to write their first words; brahmins are fed; ancestor worship (Pitr-tarpan) is performed; the god of love Kamadeva is worshipped; and most educational institutions organise special prayer for Saraswati. The color yellow also plays an important role in this festival, in that people usually wear yellow garments, Saraswati is worshipped dressed in yellow, and yellow sweets are consumed within the families. Children love flying kites . They enjoy the festival with great fun and enthusiasm.

 Goddess Saraswati

Saraswati (in Sanskrit sara means essence and swa means self) meaning eis traditionally depicted with a serene and calm expression with a majestic air. She is seated on a white lotus in Padmasana, adorned by a pure white silk sari, has a book in her lower left hand, her lower right hand showing the chinmudra, Aksharamala in her right upper hand, and Amrithakalasam in her left upper hand. Both eyes are full of compassion. The vehicle assigned to each of the three goddesses also symbolically represent their special powers.
Goddess Saraswati is the consort of Lord Brahma (Lord of Creation) and is the goddess of wisdom and learning. Saraswati is the one who gives the essence (sara) of our own self (swa). She is considered as the personification of all knowledge - arts, sciences, crafts and other skills. She has a beautiful and elegant presence, is pure white in colour, clad in a white sari, seated on a white lotus, representing purity and brilliance. She has four hands representing four aspects of human personality in learning: mind, intellect, alertness and ego. She has the sacred scriptures in one hand and a lotus (a symbol of true knowledge) in the second. With her other two hands she plays the music of love and life on the veena.
She is dressed in white (sign of purity) and rides on a white goose (swan). The swan is known for its peculiar characteristic of being capable of separating water from milk, indicating that we should possess discrimination in separating the bad from the good. The seat being a lotus or peacock implies that the teacher is well-established in the subjective experience of truth. When sitting on a peacock she reminds us that wisdom suppresses ego.
Devotees worship her in temples, often by keeping books underneath her idol. In October, Durga Puja (Navaratri) is celebrated by people all over India to offer their prayers for a successful and fruitful year. However, Saraswati does have a temple in Koothanur in Tanjavur district (Tamil Nadu.) The most famous Sarsawati temple in India is situated in Shringeri, Karnataka Shringeri sharadamba temple. This was established by Shankaracharya in the 8th century. There is an important Basar Saraswati Temple in Basar at a distance of 40 km from Nizamabad in Adilabad District, Andhra Pradesh on the banks of Godavari River. There is also a small but very old temple in Hasanpur and a relatively renovated one in Bakhri Bazar, Bihar. Wargal Saraswati Temple is located in Medak district in AP.
Vasant Panchami is celebrated in January-February all over the country with great fervor and vigor.

 Kite festival
In Ferozepur (Punjab) it is also as a Kite Festival in Border Area city of Punjab Ferozepur, This Festival is very famous in the city as boys and girls buy Dora (Thread) and Gude aka Patang (Kites) in huge quantity to fly. Children as well as young boys like this festival very much. Young boys by putting sound system on their terrace start dancing right from the evening of the previous day of Basant (vasant panchami), colour full kites in the sky makes the sky very colour full and worth seeing. People from all around the world come to enjoy this festival. It feels as if this festival is most popular festival in ferozepur than in any other city. Basant Panchami has a specific meaning, Basant means Spring, whereas Panchami means the fifth day of the spring. It falls on Panchami - on the Waxing Moon. The festival lies in the month of January or February. The young girls dressed in the diverse shades of yellow magnify the splendor of nature. Kite flying, a popular sport in India, is associated with the Basant Panchami day. It is a day for young crowd - no routine work, no studies, only merry making.

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