Basant Panchami is one of the most popular spring festivals of India, celebrated across different parts of country with fun and fervour. 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. This year, the festival of Basant Panchami will be celebrated on 15th February.
The festival of Basant 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 coloured 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-Goddess Saraswati and place their pens, pencils and notebooks at her feet to be blessed by her before they start using the stationery items. Basant 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 Om 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.
Read More :
Saraswati Puja SMS, Basant Panchami SMS, Wallpapers and Greetings
Makar Sankranti is a harvest festival that is celebrated every year on 14th January, in the month of Magha, as per the Hindu calendar. Makar Sankranti is one of the most auspicious days in the Hindu calendar, as it holds a religious significance for the Hindus. According to the Puranas, on this day, the Sun visits the house of Shani, the Swami of Makar Rashi. Also, this day symbolises the importance of special father-son relationship. It is believed that on this day Lord Vishnu conquered the demons and buried them under the Manadara Parvata, thereby marking the day as the victory of good over evil. Apart from this, this festival holds special mention in the epics of the Mahabharata. The story relates to Bhishma Pitamaha, wherein during a war, Arjuna’s arrows injured Bhishma Pitamaha. However, he chose to wait for the Uttarayan to set in so that he would get salvation and free himself from the cycle of rebirth.
The festival of Makar Sankranti is also given due importance in the Sikh community as the tenth Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh got Moksha (salvation) for fourteen Sikhs. This festival is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm in the states of Karnataka, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Besides this, Makar Sankranti is also celebrated in other parts of the country and is known by different names viz. Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Bihu in Assam, Bhogi in Andhra Pradesh and Uttarayan in Gujarat.
The traditional celebrations and rituals associated with Makar Sankranti vary from state to state. Since the festival traditionally coincides with the Sun’s northwards journey into the Uttarayan, when it enters the sign of Makar Rashi (the Capricorn), people in huge number take dips in the holy Ganga River at Haridwar and offer water to the Sun God (Surya). It is believed that by doing this, all sins will be purified and one can attain salvation. Also on this day, people worship Goddess Saraswati who is considered as the Goddess of knowledge. Apart from this, kite flying is a popular tradition on the occasion of Makar Sankranti. This is so because this festival coincides with the International Kite Festival which is held at Ahmedabad, Gujarat on 14th January.
How to celebrate Makar Sankranti at home?
- Wake-up early in the morning, before sunrise, have bath and dress up in new traditional clothes.
- Tell your children the significance of celebrating the festival of Makar Sankranti.
- Teach ‘Gayatri Mantra’ to your children.
- Worship the rising sun by offering water, flowers while chanting the Gayatri Mantra.
- Prepare special delicacies such as rice khichadi, til ke laddu, coconut chikki, ganee ki kheer etc.
- Encourage your children to make bright kites of different colours, sizes and shapes.
- Involve your children in flying kites.
So, on this auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti, pray to God for the well-being of one and all.
Makar Sankranti Wishes
Makar Sankranti SMS
Lohri is a popular harvest festival celebrated by people in the North Indian States of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and parts of Himachal Pradesh. Lohri is celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm especially among the farmers since this festival is associated with the harvesting of the winter crops. The festival is also said to mark the end of the cold chilly winter and welcomes the arrival of spring. It is a fun-filled festivity celebrated every year in the month of January on the longest night of the year.
Lohri is celebrated on the 13th of January every year, when the earth changes its course and start moving towards the earth. For the farmers, the day after Lohri, signifies the beginning of a financial new year. The festival also coincides with the festival of Pongal in Tamil Nadu.
There are various stories associated with the festival of Lohri. In the ancient times, people would light fire on this day and chant a special mantra to call upon the Sun God to express their gratitude towards him for protecting them from the cold winter.
Another famous folk tale associated with the festival of Lohri is the tale of Dulla Bhatti. Dulla Bhatti lived in Punjab during the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar and was regarded as a hero. He used to rob the rich people distribute the wealth among the poor. He rescued girls who were being taken as slaves and arranged for their marriages and provided them with dowries. Among these girls were two girls named ‘Sundri’ and ‘Mundri’ who gradually became part of the Punjabi folklore and folk songs.
Traditional Celebrations of Lohri
- People dress up in new clothes and gather in large open spaces or outside their homes to celebrate the festival.
- The main attraction of the Lohri festival is the bonfire celebration where people light bonfires outside their houses and throw peanuts, popcorn and sweets into the flames.
- People hold a puja which involves a parikrama around the fire and distribution of Prasad which comprises of til, gajak, gur, moongphali, phulliya, etc.
- After the puja, people dance and sing Punjabi folk songs around the bonfire.
- People greet each other by wishing ‘Happy Lohri” and exchange sweets.
- They cook traditional Punjabi dishes like ‘Makki ki roti” and “Sarso ka Saag”
This Lohri, follow the tips given below to celebrate this seasonal holiday with your child:
- Dress your child in traditional Punjabi dresses and explain to her the significance of the festival.
- Cook traditional Punjabi dishes like “Makki ki roti” and “Sarso ka saag” at home.
- Distribute til, gajak, gur, moongphali, etc. among the children of in your locality.
- Tell your child about the folk tales behind Lohri.
- Arrange for a bonfire in the evening and encourage your child to participate in the Parikrama, keeping in mind the safety measures.
- Sing Punjabi folk songs like ‘Sundar Mundariye, Hoi!’ and enjoy the bonfire with your child.
ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE
Born On: 25th December, 1924
Known For: Politician
- He was the only Non-Congress Prime Minister of India, who served a full term.
- He is the only Parliamentarian to have been elected from four different states at four different times.
- He was the first Prime Minister of India to have delivered a speech in Hindi at the United Nations.
- He was the first President of the Political Party BJP.
- He and his father, together, pursued their Law Degree from DAV College, Kanpur.
- He has been an editor of two monthly publications – ‘Rashtradharma’ and ‘Panchjanya’ and two news dailies – ‘Swadesh’ and ‘Veer Arjun’.
- Dr. Manmohan Singh often called him as the ‘Bhishma Pitamah’ of Indian Politics.
- He is affectionately called ‘Baap Ji’ by his close friends and family.
- He wanted to become a journalist and mentioned in an interview, that he entered politics, by mistake.
- Former Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru predicted that Atal Bihari Vajpayee will one day become the Prime Minister of India.
PANDIT MADAN MOHAN MALVIYA
Born On: 25th December, 1861
Known For: Politician
- He popularized the phrase ‘Satyamev Jayate’ meaning ‘truth alone triumphs’.
- He was a prolific journalist and founded the now discontinued English newspaper ‘The Leader’, one Hindi monthly called ‘Maryada’ and a Hindi weekly titled ‘Abhyudaya’.
- He was the founder of the Benaras Hindu University, which he established in 1916.
- He founded the political party Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Mahasabha in 1906 to oppose the divide and rule policy of the British Government.
- He made sincere efforts for the entry of Dalits into any Hindu temple.
Born On: 25th December, 1984
Known For: Cricketer
- He became the first Englishman to score seven centuries in Test matches before turning 23.
- He became the second youngest batsman to cross the 5000-run mark in Tests, at the age of 26.
- He became the youngest player ever to play 100 Test matches.
- He has scored five successive centuries as a captain – another record in his name.
- He was a choirboy in his youth.
Born on: 11th December, 1935
Known For: Residing President of India
- Growing up in Birbhum, in rural Bengal, Pranabda was better known by his nickname – Poltu
- He began his career as a clerk in the office of the Deputy Assistant-General in Kolkata. He has also worked as a teacher in a Birbhum College and as a journalist for Desher Dak, a Bengali publication
- The 79-year old Mr. Mukherjee maintains a dairy and manages to write a page every day
- In his political career of over four decades, Mr. Mukherjee has served as minister in every Congress government since 1971
- He is a deeply religious man. He can recite Sanskrit Shlokas and “Chandi Path” from memory
- Euromoney magazine rated Mr. Mukherjee as the best Finance Minister of the World according to a survey in 1984
- He doesn’t speak fluent Hindi and has said that it is one of the reasons why he cannot become the Prime Minister
- Mr. Mukherjee is one of the handful Indian Politicians who have held the three key ministries of finance, defense and external affairs
- He is the only finance minister to have presented Budgets in the pre-liberalisation and post-liberalisation era
- As a child, Pranabda simply couldn’t resist chocolates
Born on: 11th December, 1969
Known For: Chess Player
- He was the only sportsperson to have been invited for the dinner hosted by the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh for US President Barack Obama in 2010 .
- He started playing chess when he was 6
- He was the undisputed World Chess Champion from 2007-2013
- He was the number one player in the world for a total of 15 months.
- In 1984, at the age of 15, Anand became the youngest Indian to win the title of International Master.
Born on: 11th December, 1922
Known For: Actor
- His real name is Mohammad Yusuf Khan.
- He was awarded the highest Civilian award by Pakistan, “Nishan-e-Imtiaz” in 1998
- His ancestral home in Peshawar is getting turned into a National Heritage and will be preserved by the Pakistan Government
- Before entering the film industry, Dilip Kumar was a fruit vendor in Pune
- He is Bollywood’s first superstar who hails from Pakistan
- He was the first person to receive the Filmfare Best Actor Award
- He was a member of Parliament from 2000-2006
- He has won the most awards as the Best Actor with 8 awards spanning over 3 decades.
Born on: 10th December, 1878
Known For: Political Activist
- He was informally called Rajaji. During his lifetime, he also acquired the nickname ‘Mango of Salem’ .
- He was the last Governor-General of India and the only Indian National ever to hold the office
- He was one of the first recipients of the Bharat Ratna Award
- He served as a leader of the Indian National Congress but later resigned from the INC and founded the Swatantra Party, which stood against the Congress in 1962, 1967 and 1972 elections.
- He devised the proposal called as the CR Formula by the press to recognize the demand for Pakistan and initiate talks between the Congress and All India Muslim League.
C. S. Lewis
Born: 29 November 1898 (Belfast, Ireland)
Bio: CS Lewis was a poet, writer, novelist who was also the creator of ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’.
- J. R. R. Tolkien, the writer of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, was a very close friend of him.
- He was loved widely for the broadcasts that he did about Christianity on the BBC London Radio during the Second World War time.
- He died on the same date as of the assassination of US president, John F. Kennedy.
- When he was four years old, his dog Jacksie was killed by a car after which he insisted on being called as Jacksie and was eventually called as Jack by his friends and family.
- He had a special love for personified animals and used to read stories about speaking animals often.
- It is said that he was inspired to write The Chronicles of Narnia after visiting the mountains in Mourne, Europe.
Born: 29 November 1977 (Mardan, Pakistan)
Bio: Yunus Khan is one of the greatest batsmen of the Pakistani Cricket team and has supported his team win T20 World Cup Trophy in 2009.
- His favourite past time fishing.
- He once said that he deemed Coach Bob Woolmer as his father figure after the death of his own father.
- According to him, it was his eldest brother Sharif Khan who taught him to play cricket.
- He has successfully made third highest number of run-outs in One day International cricket as an infielder.
- His average score against India in test cricket is 106, the highest by any Pakistani cricketer.
The team of experts from the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has begun the implementation process of reforming the syllabus of State School Board in Gujarat. The process came into being after the two-day long brain storming and orientation session that was organised in the August in Gujarat’s state capital Ahmedabad.
The Languages – English, Hindi and Gujarati & the Commerce Subjects’ – Accountancy, Economics, Statistics and Business Administration experts for grades IX & XII have already held meetings and suggested the requisite reforms in the curriculum. Moreover, they have even submitted their recommendations to the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board for further action. It is worth noticing that the revised curriculum shall not only be catering to the needs of the urban children but to the needs of the rural children as well.
For detailed information, Click Here.