|| Vasant Panchami (the fifth day of spring)or Shree Panchami is dedicated to Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and learning. The words 'Sree' and 'Basanta' are significant to the festival. 'Sree' is beauty and the other name of 'Saraswati' and Basanta is spring season which brings beauty and pleasure to the Earth. Therefore it is a festival to welcome beauty through worship of the Goddess.The worship of Saraswati is prevalent since the age of the Vedas where she has been referred as Bacha.
The goddess Saraswati is often depicted as a beautiful woman dressed in pure white, often seated on a white lotus, which symbolizes light, knowledge and truth. She not only embodies knowledge but also the experience of the highest reality. Her iconography is typically in white themes from dress to flowers to swan – the colour symbolizing Sattwa Guna or purity, discrimination for true knowledge, insight and wisdom.She is generally shown to have four arms, but sometimes just two. When shown with four hands, those hands symbolically mirror her husband Brahma's four heads, representing manas (mind, sense), buddhi (intellect, reasoning), citta (imagination, creativity) and ahamkar (self consciousness, ego). Brahma represents the abstract, she action and reality.
The four hands hold items with symbolic meaning — a pustaka (book or script), a mala (rosary, garland), a water pot and a musical instrument (lute or vina).The book she holds symbolizes the Vedas representing the universal, divine, eternal, and true knowledge as well as all forms of learning. A mālā of crystals, representing the power of meditation, inner reflection and spirituality. A pot of water represents powers to purify the right from wrong, the clean from unclean, and the essence from the misleading. In some texts, the pot of water is symbolism for soma - the drink that liberates and leads to knowledge. The musical instrument, typically a veena, represents all creative arts and sciences, and her holding it symbolizes expressing knowledge that creates harmony. Due to her association with the swan, Saraswati is also referred to as Hansvahini, which means "she who has a hansa / hans as her vehicle". The swan is also a symbolism for spiritual perfection, transcendence and moksha.
Saraswati Puja is mostly celebrated in the educational institutions. Students observe fasting since morning, wear new garments and propitiate the Goddess to bestow them with learning and eloquence. They offer 'Puspanjali' (handful of flowers) to the deity and then break their fast. In the evening cultural programmes and feasts are arranged as a part of the celebration. The next day, the images are taken in procession to nearby tanks or rivers for immersion.