As ‘Diwali’ – the festival of light – is to Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and prosperity, and ‘Navaratri’ is to Durga, goddess of power and valour, Basant Panchami is to Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and arts. Praying to the lord and celebrating art in their life, residents of Indore are buying new artistic clothes and flowers for prayers.
Women in the family brought ingredients and prepared special ‘Kesar Halwa’ which is made from cardamom powder, flour, sugar and nuts. This includes saffron which gives vibrant yellow colour and mild fragrance. Talking about the festival, homemaker Akansha Jain said, “Food and fasting is an important part of celebrating a festival in our country.” She elaborated that they fasted till the puja and further opening the fast with delicious treats.
What They Say
“I celebrate this festival with fervour. As I am a Professor, I play the role of messenger of education. I worship goddess Saraswati, who is the goddess of ‘Vidya’. It is also a mark of welcoming spring season with joy and cheerfulness throughout India. For me, personally, this festival is really important for everyone because without knowledge and art the world cannot survive. We all can gain money with hard work, but we cannot enjoy life without an artistic eye to view the world.”
Shyamli Chowdhury, Lecturer
“Basant Panchami is Hindu festival where we cherish the change of environment in different ways. As per Jainism ritual Basant Panchami is associated with ‘Shringara Rasam’ of the Jain temple. Where we decorate the temple with flowers and play with Gulal. To me personally, it is a festival that welcomes warmer days. I love the celebrations and brightness that follows Basant Panchami. I participated in the preparations and celebrations that we did today, like changing clothes and bringing jewellery for goddess. Further, we collected books as Sarswati known as symbol of vidya. On Basant Panchami, we will also show our respect towards the books by performing certain prayers.”
Surabhi Mama (Jain), Technical Team Lead
“My ambition is to become a successful engineer as I have always loved calculations. I am grateful that I am living my dreams right now. This year, I celebrated goddess Saraswati’s birthday and thanking her for blessing me with knowledge. I also love writing, which I hope to take ahead as my artistic outlet. This year has been wonderful for me, so I brought whatever presents, I can like bangles, veil and jewels and gifted to Saraswati.”
Gaurav Roy, Engineering student
“We just got married and Basant Panchami is our first festival together. Celebrating our new life together with the starting of the new season, we feel blessed. We brought each other new clothes, dressed up and visited temple. We prepared traditional sweets together. Lord Krishna granted Saraswati a boon that she too will be worshipped on Basant Panchami and we are lovers, so the story inspires. After performing morning ablutions and bathing, we established Kalasha. After worshipping Ganesh, the Sun, Vishnu and Shiva, Saraswati is worshipped. Thereafter, we threw coloured powder in air.”
Ranu and Jitendra Saluja, Newlyweds