Vasant Panchami,also called Basant Panchami, is the first day of Spring season(Vasant Rutu), which is a festival of worship of Goddess Saraswati.It is full of social,religious and seasonal significance.It is also beleived that this the birth day of Mata Saraswati.
This is Magh Shuddha Panchami (5th day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month) which falls usually in the month of January or February, is the day of Vasant Panchami and is also celebrated as Shree Panchami or Saraswati Puja in many parts of India.
As per the tradition,small children are taught to write the first word .on this day.Food is given to brahmins and the ancestors are worshipped.This festival is widely celebrated in India,Banglaesh, Asam and Nepal to invoke wisdom and conciousness in human beings.Musicians worship their instruments and vocalists start their first performances on this day.
The yellow color also plays an important role on this day,when people usually wear yellow garments and Saraswati is worshipped by dressing in yellow clothes. Also yellow sweets are prepared and eaten within the families.On this day Goddess Saraswati is worshipped in various names and significance as - the Goddess of knowledge, the deity of Gayatri, the source of fine arts and science, and the symbol of supreme vedantic knowledge.
The Goddess Saraswati has four hands and is shown in a sitting posture, which symbolizes her supreme power.The lotus of Lakshmi stands for the Rajas Guna.The white swan symbolizes purity and discrimination and the tiger of Durga the Tamas Guna. Saraswati is shown playing "Veena", an Indian string musical instrument. Saraswati Mata is dressed in white (sign of purity) and rides on a white swan which is known for its peculiar characteristic of being capable of separating water from milk, indicating that we should have discrimination in separating the bad from the good.She sits on a peacock which implies that the wisdom suppresses the ego.
Vasant Panchami or Saraswati Puja is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Hindu house and temples.The school children observe this day with great reverence since Goddess Saraswati is the Goddess of Knowledge,music, fine and performing arts.
Before the use, the notebooks, pencils and pens are placed at the Devi's feet for blessings.Students are asked to write their names, address and the roll number on a piece of paper and put it in the Hundi(pot) after praying for success ! It is believed the Goddess showers with lot of blessings.
There is an important Saraswati Temple in Basar ,near Nizamabad in Adilabad District, also in Andhra Pradesh on the banks of Godavari River.There is an old and small temple in Hasanpur and a relatively new one in Bihar at Bakhri Bazar.