In the holy city of Amritsar, Basant Panchami has a religious ring to it. The festivity starts with the Hazoori raagi rendering the Gurbani in Basant Raaga at the Golden Temple. The hymns are sung in the Basant Raaga and this tradition would be on till the first day of Visakhi.
In the old part of the city more than anywhere else, the enthusiasm of kite flyers is a sight to behold. There are loud ‘bo kata’ shouts, a victory cry after somebody’s kite is cut off from its string.
One can see awestruck tourists gaping at the sky that is filled with a multitude of fluttering yellow kites.
Kite flying marks the onset of spring season and at various parts of the city kite flying competitions are held on the occasion of Basant Panchami.
The youth connect
Punjabi youth are seen attired in yellow turbans and girls sparkle in their yellow suits . Various schools join in the festivities with children in traditional attire participating in folk dances and singing songs associated with Basant.
“I am blessed to be born in this city where traditions are still respected. I await Basant Panchami eagerly as my friends and I love flying kites, though we must keep praying that the weather is clear,” says Keerat Singh, a student of Guru Nanak Dev University
The festivities have found a pride of place in social networking sites too. Amrinder Singh, 25, says, “The new generation thrives on social media and for many the idea of celebrating this festival is creating a buzz about it online. I hope they enjoy the festivities in the virtual world like we do in the real.”
Food and festivities go hand in hand, particularly when you’re talking about Amritsar. It’s that time of the year when one can see halwais preparing sweets related to this festival such as jalebis.