The festival of Basant Panchami (February 16) marks the arrival of the spring season in India. It’s celebrated every year on the 5th day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar month of Magha, which is usually around late Jan or Feb. The festival is dedicated to goddess Saraswati who symbolises knowledge, music and arts in Hinduism. Devotees carry out the Saraswati Puja rituals during ‘Anubujh’ muhurta as that’s considered to be an auspicious time.
The ideal time to pray to goddess Saraswati is in the morning during the Panchami (fifth) Tithi (date). However, the whole day is considered to be auspicious.
Start Panchami Tithi: It starts at 3:36 am on February 16.
End of Panchami Tithi: It ends at 5:46 am on February 17
Vasant Panchami Muhurat: Between 6:59 am to 12:35 pm on February 16.
Vasant Panchami Madhyanha: 12:35 pm
For the puja, one requires mango wood and leaves, Kesar, Haldi, Akshat, Kumkum, Gangajal, Kalash, Naivedya, Havan samidha, Chandan, Shodash Matrika, Saraswati yantra and Durva dal. People usually wear yellow clothes during the puja and prepare saffron sweets as prasad.
To begin the Basant Panchami puja, spread a yellow/red cloth on the wooden platform and then place the photo or idol of goddess Saraswati on it. Keep your books or your children’s school books at goddess Saraswati’s feet. Light a lamp using ghee/mustard oil or sesame oil and light a few incense sticks too. During your prayer, invite Maa Saraswati to accept your offerings and devotion.