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Basant(Vasant) Panchami is here. It marks the onset of Spring. It is also celebrated as Saraswati Puja in many Bengali households.
Since lot of kids are reading us these days, we wanted to share with them our own little memory around this day. We always looked forward to this day as kids. Why ? Because we were excused from studying, reading, doing homework or lessons on this day. What fun! We would wear yellow(a color representative of the spring season) and play around all day and fly colorful kites. The sky would have a rainbow of colors in it.
The thought of having one absolutely free fun day was so sought after that we used to wait for this day all year long. We looked forward to the variety of sweets offered as part of the prayers and then offered to all. After all, who can resist a boondi ka ladoo ?
Do you want to know where did all our books go ?
Goddess Saraswati is the goddess of learning, knowledge, wisdom, art and music. All our books, notebooks and pens / pencils, art brushes, musical instruments would be summoned on the Goddesses feet. Little lamps would glow brightly, garlands of yellow marigold would be around the boks and the aura of the incense would envelope it all. The belief is that that everything placed with the Goddess is blessed for the coming year and life. Once blessed, they would have beautiful yellow marigold placed on them, as a mark of the blessing. Though we spent most of the day playing around, flying kites and eating the rare seasonal fruit Kul (Bengali) / Ber (Hindi) / Indian Plum, when we picked up our books at the end of the day, we always made a small wish to the Goddess.
“Help me get through my math test.”
“I want to be an artist. I love to color. Please let me become one.”
“I write poems. I wish it gets published in the school year book.”
We think those wishes were granted. And that is why today, we do a part of this little ritual at our homes too. Wear yellow, gather yellow marigolds( if possible) , stack some books top them with the marigold, be thankful for the knowledge and learning we all have been blessed with and then gorge on a variety of Indian sweets.
Many also celebrate this day by getting together to share poems and stories, read the works of great authors, performing music – song and dance, dance drama. Thus celebrating knowledge, art and music.
Celebrate this day for the brightness that spring, knowledge and learning brings into our life ! Celebrate this day for the beautiful music and art we create or surround us with !
Written By : Piya Mukherjee Kalra, our resident author and one half of Chatoveracuppa.