Worshipping the Goddess of Knowledge

Basanta Panchami is celebrated as the birthday of Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge. This day is commonly known as Saraswati puja. Saraswati is the daughter of Shiva and Durga and is always seated in a full-blown lotus wearing spotless white robes. She travels in a snow-white swan, carries a book in one hand and a Vina (harp) in another.

Everyone gathers around the temple of the goddess in this day to worship her and gain her favor. It is believed that anyone who reads on this day will be blessed by wisdom by the goddess of knowledge. The students also scribble their names on the walls of the temple believing that the goddess will make them wiser. Her tools like books, exercise books, pens, etc are also worshipped in this day. The students wake up early in the morning, take bath and form a line in front of the temple for their turns to worship the goddess. It is also believed that if a person swallows seven rice grains offered to the goddess, will become wise and knowledgeable. So, the students and children throng to get the grains. Also, the rice grains are used as Prasad in some places.

On this day, the little children are also taught their first alphabet with the hope of them being blessed by the Goddess of knowledge. Also many weddings takes place on this auspicious day and does not require setting the date prior to marriage by matching the horoscope as is the custom in Nepali society. This day also coincide with the arrival of spring. The ancient royal palace at Basantapur in the heart of Kathmandu was also inaugurated on this day.

Thus, Basanta Panchami is especially celebrated by the children and students with the wish of being blessed by the goddess of knowledge. Usually the schools and some colleges organize the pujas and is celebrated with various cultural performances by the students.