Saraswati Puja Holiday in India in 2020

Saraswati Puja Holiday in India in 2020
Metal figure of Saraswati, Hindu deity of learning and arts in Kathmandu, Nepal. Image via Deposit Photos
  How long until Saraswati Puja Holiday?
This holiday is today!
  Dates of Saraswati Puja Holiday in India
2022 Feb 4
BiharFri, Feb 4Regional Holiday
HaryanaFri, Feb 4Regional Holiday
OdishaFri, Feb 4Regional Holiday
TripuraFri, Feb 4Regional Holiday
West BengalFri, Feb 4Regional Holiday
2021 Feb 16
BiharTue, Feb 16Regional Holiday
HaryanaTue, Feb 16Regional Holiday
OdishaTue, Feb 16Regional Holiday
TripuraTue, Feb 16Regional Holiday
West BengalTue, Feb 16Regional Holiday
2020 Jan 29, Jan 30, Jan 31
West BengalFri, Jan 31Regional Holiday (additional day)
BiharThu, Jan 30Regional Holiday
HaryanaThu, Jan 30Regional Holiday
OdishaThu, Jan 30Regional Holiday
TripuraThu, Jan 30Regional Holiday
West BengalThu, Jan 30Regional Holiday
West BengalWed, Jan 29Regional Holiday (additional day)
2019 Feb 10
BiharSun, Feb 10Regional Holiday
HaryanaSun, Feb 10Regional Holiday
OdishaSun, Feb 10Regional Holiday
TripuraSun, Feb 10Regional Holiday
West BengalSun, Feb 10Regional Holiday
2018 Jan 22
BiharMon, Jan 22Regional Holiday
HaryanaMon, Jan 22Regional Holiday
OdishaMon, Jan 22Regional Holiday
TripuraMon, Jan 22Regional Holiday
West BengalMon, Jan 22Regional Holiday
  Summary
5th Day of Magha. On this day Hindus worship Saraswati Devi, the goddess of wisdom, knowledge, music, art and culture
  Which regions observe Vasant Panchami in 2020?
Bihar  BiharJan 30Regional Holiday
Haryana  HaryanaJan 30Regional Holiday
Odisha  OdishaJan 30Regional Holiday
Tripura  TripuraJan 30Regional Holiday
West Bengal  West BengalJan 30Regional Holiday

When is Vasant Panchami?

Vasant Panchami, also known as Saraswati Puja, Shree Panchami, or the Basant Festival of Kites is a Sikh and Hindu festival held on the fifth day of the traditional Indian calendar month of Magha (usually early February).

It is a public holiday in the Haryana, Odisha, Tripura and West Bengal regions of India.

The festival marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring - Vasant Panchami means the fifth day ('Panchami') of Spring ('Vasant'). It takes place 40 days before Holi and marks the start of preparations for that festival.

Traditions of Vasant Panchami

On this day Hindus worship Saraswati Devi, the goddess of wisdom, knowledge, music, art, and culture. Legend has it that Lord Brahma had created the earth and humans, but felt it was all a bit too quiet, so on this day, he created Saraswati by sprinkling some water in the air. As she came from water, she is also called the water deity. Saraswati then filled the world with beautiful music and blessed the world with her voice.

Saraswati has four hands which symbolize ego, intellect, alertness and the mind. She is often pictured seated on a lotus or a peacock, wearing a white dress.

A popular legend associated with Vasant Panchami is a story about a poet called Kalidasa. Kalidasa had somehow ended up marrying a beautiful princess, who kicked him out when she realised he was foolish.

In despair, Kalidasa was planning to kill himself when Saraswati emerged from the river and told him to bathe in the waters. When he did, the water gave him wisdom and led to him writing poetry.

The colour yellow is strongly associated with Vasant Panchami, representing the fields of mustard which a common sight in the Punjab and Haryana areas at this time of year. People wear bright yellow clothes and cook colourful food to mark the beginning of spring, with many of the dishes cooked being yellow, such as "meeth chawal", sweetened rice, flavoured with saffron. 

Like Markar Sankranti, Kite flying is a popular custom associated with this festival, particularly in Punjab and Haryana. Flying kites on this day signifies freedom and enjoyment.

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