Basant Panchami 2020: How it is celebrated across India
According to the Hindu mythology, Basant Panchami ushers the warm and fertile spring season after the cold, unyielding winters. People celebrate the auspicious day across the country in various forms. This year it will be observed on January 29. Held on the fifth day (Panchami) of the Magh month (according to the Hindu calendar), Basant Panchami is also celebrated as Saraswati Puja in some parts of the country.
Punjab and Haryana
Basant Panchami is celebrated with enthusiasm and fervor in Punjab and Haryana. People engage in flying kites. Like all Indian festivals, Basant Panchami is incomplete without seasonal delicacies.
Meethe chawal is one such mouthwatering dish served in Punjab. Other dishes include Makkei ki roti and Sarso ka saag. The sight of wide patches of fields filled with mustard crops is another characteristic of this season.
For Bengalis, Saraswati Puja serves as a children’s festival. The children arrange the preparations to pray to the goddess of wisdom and knowledge.Once the puja is done, they go out to enjoy the day.
In Bengal, schools and colleges celebrate Saraswati Puja. Wearing yellow is considered to be auspicious during Basant Panchami. Women wear yellow sarees, while men don ‘panjabis’ and ‘dhuti’ or ‘pajama’. People eat khichuri, a blend of rice and pluses and pair it up with various fritters. Sweets like rajbhog and payesh are also savoured on Saraswati Puja.
Odisha is another state that observes Saraswati Puja. Pushpanjali is offered to the deity; bright, yellow flowers are used. As Saraswati is also the goddess of music, culture and learning, singers and musicians also observe the day with great devotion.
Basant Panchami or Saraswati Puja is celebrated in Assam as well. The birth of Saraswati is associated with getting up early in the morning, cleaning the surroundings of the house and puja area.
Once the cleaning is done, people wear new clothes and sit together to pray to the goddess.