Vasant or Basant or Shree Panchami is a Hindu festival celebrating Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge (wisdom, learning), music and art and is celebrated every year on the fifth day (Panchami) of the Indian month Magh (January-February) and marks the first day of spring.

On this day the children are taught to write their first words; Brahmins are fed; ancestor worship (pitr-tarpan) is performed; the god of love Kamadeva is worshipped; and most educational institutions organize special prayer for “Ma Saraswati”.

The color yellow (vigor, enthusiasm) also plays an important role in this festival, in that people usually wear yellow garments, Saraswati is worshipped dressed in yellow, and yellow sweets are consumed within the families.

This festival is celebrated to invoke wisdom and consciousness in human beings. Saraswati is the one who gives the essence (sara) of our own self (swa). She is considered as the personification of all knowledge – arts, sciences, crafts and other skills.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this write up are my own).