‘Diwali’ – the festival of light – is to Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and prosperity, and ‘Navaratri’ is to Durga, goddess of power and valor, Vasant Panchami is to Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and arts. This festival is celebrated every year on the 5th day or ‘Panchami’ of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Magha, which falls during January-February, (see calendar). ‘Vasant’ comes from the word ‘spring’ as this festival heralds the beginning of the spring season.
During Vasant Panchami, the advent of spring is felt in the air as the season undergoes change. New leaves and blossoms appear in the trees with the promise of new life and hope. Vasant Panchami also announces the arrival of another big springtime event in the Hindu calendar – Holi, the festival of colors.
Saraswati Vandana: Sanskrit Mantra:
The following mantra is also recital on Vasant Panchami:
Yaa Kundendu tushaara haaradhavalaa, Yaa shubhravastraavritha|
Yaa veenavara dandamanditakara, Yaa shwetha padmaasana||
Yaa brahmaachyutha shankara prabhritibhir Devaisadaa Vanditha|
Saa Maam Paatu Saraswatee Bhagavatee Nihshesha jaadyaapahaa||