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Happy Vasant Panchami

01st Feb, 2017

Happy Vasant Panchami

Happy Vasant Panchami to all our Hindu friends!

For those who are new to the festival, Vasant Panchami marks the beginning of Spring for Hindus across India, as well as in some parts of Nepal. There are a couple of variations to how or why the festival is celebrated when you go to different places, but they mostly involve three key elements- a pyre, lots of colour and wearing yellow!

If you want to send wishes to your Hindu friends, here’s what you need to know about the festival:

  • Vasant Panchami means, ‘the fifth day of Spring’
  • It is the first of two Spring holidays for Hindus, the second one being Holi which is celebrated 40days later
  • In the 40day gap, preparations are made for numerous burnings in effigy of the demoness Holika. The preparations involve devotees adding twigs and other combustible materials to create a pyre, which is then burnt on Holi
  • For many, the festival also represents the birthday of Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom, knowledge, fine arts, refinement, science and technology. Commonplace for praying to Saraswati involves colour being thrown in the air!
  • The festival is comprised of worship to enlighten devotees with knowledge
  • You may also hear the festival being referred to as Basant Panchami
  • It is traditional to wear yellow

As those who celebrate the festival might say: May the Goddess bless you on this festival of Basant Panchami!