Basant Panchami, also known as Vasant Panchami, is an important Hindu festival in India that marks the arrival of spring. The day also signifies the arrival of one of the most important festivals in the world, Holi, which is celebrated some 40 days later, some time in March. It is so because the vasant utsav (festival) on Panchami is celebrated 40 days before spring — the transition period for any season is 40 days — and after that, the season comes into full bloom.
This year, Basant Panchami will be celebrated on February 16, which is a Tuesday. According to the Hindu calendar, Basant Panchami is celebrated on the fifth day of the month of Maagh and thus, the name ‘Panchami’.
The Hindu community also celebrates Saraswati Puja on this day. The day is dedicate to the goddess of music, wisdom, arts, and knowledge. It is said that the goddess, who symbolises creativity, was born on this day. As such, people hold pujas, offer her bhog, and also wear the colour yellow to mark flowering mustard fields, whose flowers are bright yellow. It is believed that yellow is Godess Saraswati’s favourite colour, for it speaks of nature’s bounty and celebrates agricultural fields.