Vasant (or sometimes Basant) Panchami marks the beginning of spring. The festival usually falls during February and March. It is one of two spring festivals the second being Holi. Vasant meaning spring and Panchami means the fifth day.
In northern India Vasant Panchami is celebrated with kite festivals. The colour yellow is associated with this festival and many would consider it auspicious to wear yellow clothing on this day. Many children begin their learning on this day as it is a day for worshipping the Goddess Sarasvati. Many Hindus will visit temples and donate books and literary materials to the poor.
Sarasvati is the Goddess of Learning and the Arts, and is closely connected with many aspects of Hindu culture. She is particularly worshipped by scholars, students and performing artists. She is the consort of Brahma, the creator.
She is also called Vedamata, meaning ‘mother of the Vedas’ or ‘mother of knowledge’. She has three main forms:
As Vach (speech personified)
As the Goddess of learning and the arts
As the legendary river (now dried up).