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Basant or Vasant Panchmi

Uttarakhand continues to celebrate one festival or the other throughout the year. These events depict the rich cultural history of the state. One of the most popular festivals celebrated in the state of Uttarakhand is the Basant (also spelt Vasant) Panchmi. Though this festival is celebrated in many other states of the country, Uttarakhand offers its own unique flavor. During this auspicious occasion, you can make a visit to the famous temples in Uttarakhand to participate and experience the rich Hindu culture. The Basant Panchmi festival is organized to celebrate the arrival of the spring season.

The Hindu festival is known by different names in the different states of the country. In the state of West Bengal, it is popularly known as the Saraswati Pooja (worshipping of the goddess Saraswati).

Time of the Year
The festival of Basant Panchmi is held at a time when winter nears its ending. It is, therefore, celebrated every year in Uttarakhand during January-February. This is a good time to visit the cities of the state.

Saraswati Pooja
Since goddess Saraswati is worshipped during this religious festival, it is also termed as the Saraswati Pooja. During the occasion, Hindus offer prayers and seek the blessings of the aforementioned goddess. Many people cover their head with yellow cloth pieces. Many others smear their foreheads with yellow color, known as 'tilak'.

Special Significance
The Saraswati Puja also carries a lot of significance for students or school children as Saraswati is the goddess of learning. Participation of students in this pooja adds a special color to the Basant Panchmi. Whether it's a Hindu temple or a Hindu household or a school, you can witness how reverently everybody celebrates this festival.

The prasad or prasadam distributed to people on the birthday of Saraswati may vary from one place or community to another. In many places, ber is used as Prasad during this festival. Many others distribute sangari, which is a type of bean, taken from radish plant.