Bollywood & South Asian Film

Devotees take holy dip in Sangam on Basant Panchami

Devotees take holy dip in Sangam on Basant Panchami

Thousands of devotees took a holy dip in Sangam on the occasion of Basant Panchami, the fourth bathing festival of the ongoing ‘Magh Mela’ in Uttar Pradesh.

Devotees also offered prayers at the Sangam, a confluence of three rivers- Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati.

The Hindu festival of Basant Panchami, also known as Vasant Panchami, Shri Panchami, and Saraswati Panchami, is celebrated on the first day of spring and falls on the fifth day of the month of Magha. It also heralds the start of Holi preparations, which take place forty days following the feast. Maa Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of learning, music, and the arts, is honoured throughout the festival.
According to legend, Kalidasa, distraught over his wife’s abandonment, planned to commit suicide by drowning himself in a river. He was about to do so when the goddess Saraswati appeared in the water and invited Kalidasa to bathe in it. His life changed after that, when he was endowed with wisdom and became a great poet.

Another legend is based on the Hindu god of love, Kama, and according to mythology, Kamadeva once disrupted Lord Shiva’s meditation after his wife Sati’s death. Seers approached Kama to awaken Shiva from his meditation so that he could reconnect with the world and notice Maa Parvati’s efforts for him.
Kama concurred and used his sugarcane-made bow to shoot arrows at Shiva that were made of flowers and bees. However, furious Shiva destroyed Kama by opening his third eye. Shiva promised to resurrect him on Basant Panchami after Rati (his wife) completed a 40-day fast. He supposedly gave birth to the son of Lord Krishna, named Pradumna.

On this day, the colour yellow holds a lot of significance. People dress in yellow for the festival, worship the goddess Saraswati, and consume customary foods. Yellow is a sign of both knowledge and the fields of mustard, which signal the beginning of spring.
Throughout the nation, Basant Panchami is celebrated with slightly diverse customs, and wonderful traditional foods are prepared and savoured on this day. While kite flying is popular in North India, particularly in Punjab and Haryana, it is celebrated as Saraswati Puja in the east of the country, such as West Bengal.

It is known as Sri Panchami in the southern states. Flowers are exchanged as gifts in Gujarat, where bouquets and garlands are decorated with mango leaves. On this day, people worship Shiva and Parvati in the Indian states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Uttar Pradesh.

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