Basant Panchami, sometimes misspelled vasant panchmi, is a Hindu festival celebrating Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, music and art. It is celebrated every year on the fifth day of the Indian month Magh (January-February), the first day of spring. Traditionally during this festival children are taught to write their first words; brahmins are fed; ancestor worship (Pitr-tarpan) is performed; the god of love Kamadeva is worshipped; and most educational institutions organise special prayer for Saraswati. The color yellow also plays an important role in this festival, in that people usually wear yellow garments, Saraswati is worshipped dressed in yellow, and yellow sweets are consumed within the families.
Also known as Saraswati Puja, this festival is celebrated in Nepal, India and Bangladesh to invoke wisdom and consciousness in human beings. Apart from wisdom, Saraswati is also the deity for fine and performing arts. The day is also called Basant Panchami which falls in Falgun (Phalgun in Hindi) month of Bangla calendar; that is February of the Gregorian calendar. In West Bengal saraswati puja is celebrated in Hindu households and also in schools and colleges. Bengali men are usually dressed in traditional paijama and punjabi. Women are dressed in yellow (basanti) coloured sari. With Her grace, the mute, it is believed, have been able to speak and people have been blessed with the ability to write or compose poems. Musicians sing here and many even choose to perform here first. Instrumentalists have puja performed for their instruments here. Apart from art and culture, Goddess Saraswati also showers Her blessings for the education of children.
Notebooks, pencils and pens are kept at the Devi's feet for blessings and then used by the students. A noticeboard asks the students to write their names, address and the roll number on a piece of paper and put it in the hundi after praying for success! It is believed the Goddess blesses them for good and positive results.