Basant Panchami is one of the most popular spring festivals of India, celebrated across different parts of country with fun and fervor. The festival, celebrated on the fifth day of the month of Magh (between the months of January and February), marks the end of winter season and welcomes the arrival of spring season.
The festival of Vasant Panchami is associated with yellow colour, a colour of spirituality. The colour holds a special meaning for this celebration, as it signifies bright yellow sunshine, brilliance of nature and the vibrancy of life. During this season, the fields in the countryside, especially the rural areas of Punjab, are brightened with yellow colour of mustard crop, which adds to the spirit of the festival. As a part of the traditional celebrations, people wear yellow colour clothes, cook kesar halwa or sweet rice with saffron and offer yellow flowers to the God.
Basant Panchami is also celebrated as the birthday of Goddess Saraswati, who symbolises knowledge, wisdom, purity and truth. Worshipping Goddess Saraswati on this day is considered very auspicious, especially to begin a child’s education. On this day, students pray to the Goddess of Knowledge and place their pens, pencils and notebooks at her feet to be blessed by her before they start using the stationery items. Vasant Panchami is observed as a holiday in schools, colleges and government offices.
How to celebrate the festival of Basant Panchami with your children:
- Tell your children about the significance of the festival.
- Explain to them about the changes that occur in nature with the arrival of the season of spring (Basant).
- Ask them to wear yellow clothes to symbolize the significance of the colour, in the festival.
- Involve them in the preparations for the puja of Goddess Saraswati.
- Teach them Saraswati Vandana and ask them to chant the Mantra during the puja.
- Ask them to offer prayer to Goddess Saraswati, seek her blessings by placing the stationary items like pen, pencils and notebooks at her feet. Tell your children to use these stationery items after the puja is over.
- If your children have not started going to school, instruct them to write an auspicious sign like Ohm or Swastika on a piece of paper and place it at the feet of the Goddess.
- Tell your children about the significance of the act of donation on this day and encourage them to distribute stationery items like pen, pencils and notebooks to poor children.
- Involve your children in preparing saffron halwa and sweet saffron rice, which are special offerings to the Goddess on this occasion.
- Enjoy the colourful festival and bright sunshine of spring with your children by flying kites with them.
Celebrating Basant Panchami with your children will help them to understand the significance of changes that occur in different seasons. This will further help them to accept and welcome the changes in their life, with enthusiasm and confidence.
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