Shree Panchami, Bashanta panchami or Saraswoti Pooja

Shree Panchami, Bashanta panchami or Saraswoti Pooja is one of the most important festivals in Nepal. Basanta Panchami is the day when winter ends and spring starts. Vasant Panchami falls in January-February (Magh - Fagun). We worship Goddess Saraswati in this day.

Goddess Saraswati is regarded as the goddess of knowledge. She is worshiped as the source of all intelligence and creativity. Her blessings are the source of innovation and knowledge . She is the creator of art, music, science and all education.
Saraswati is one of the greatest creation of  Lord Bhrama. She is believed to be the most beautiful creation of Brahma. 

या कुंदेंदु तुषारहार धवला, या शुभ्र वस्त्रावृता |या वीणावर दण्डमंडितकरा, या श्वेतपद्मासना ||

Saraswati is four handed Goddess seated on a white lotus wearing white sari. Her vehicle is a white Swan. She holds Veena, Book and a garland in her hands. 

Saraswati Puja

When is Shree Panchami 

Saraswati pooja is observed on Magh Sukla Panchami. Saraswati pooja is done on Panchami, so the day is called Shree Panchami.

This year Shree Panchami is on 21st of Magh, 2070.  This date coincide with February 4, 2014 in Gregorian calendar.

Saras in Sanskrit signifies flow and wati means the bearer. Saraswati is "she who has flow".  Sara also means essence and swati means self. Therefore, she is regarded as self-essence.

What do we do in Saraswati puja in Nepal

The day is very auspicious day. This is the day for many Nepali kids start writing their first letters and alphabets.  Children are taken to Saraswati temple and asked to read and write first letter of their life. The wall of Swaraswati temples across the country are scribbled by Nepali Alphabet, numbers and slokas. Kids use white chalk to write on the slate or wall. Therefore, it is very important day for every kid. It is believed, Shree Panchami is the best day to start learning new things. Students worship books, pens, notebooks and other instruments. Musician worship his/her instruments. Professionals worships their tools. In one sentence, this is the day when the source of knowledge, art and education are worshiped.

Students worship goddess Saraswati with more diligence and respect. Schools and colleges have special celebration of Saraswati  puja in house. In Madhesh and Terai region of Nepal there is tradition of collecting money to build and establish idols of goddess Saraswati at the town avenues. People visit the idols and pay homage and regards. People sometimes organize idols cometetions too. The community who establish the best idol wins and is awarded. This adds more fun to the celebration.

Since this day is believes to be very good and auspicious people get married, start new business and start new venture in this day.

There are many temples of Swaraswati across Nepal. In every temple vicinity there is always a small separate temple for Saraswati. It is a tradition of establishing Saraswati and Ganesh in every temple in Nepal. 

Across Kathmandu valley there are three main temples of Goddess Saraswoti. They are Saraswoti Temple in Lele, Saraswoti temple in Swyambhu, Nil Saraswoti temple in Gairidhara. Devotees in Kathmandu valley visit these temples from early morning to late in the evening during the Saraswati Day. 

Saraswati Vandana 
या कुंदेंदु तुषारहार धवला, या शुभ्र वस्त्रावृता |
या वीणावर दण्डमंडितकरा, या श्वेतपद्मासना ||
या ब्रह्माच्युतशंकरप्रभ्रृतिभिर्देवै: सदा वन्दिता |
सा मां पातु सरस्वती भगवती नि:शेष्य जाड्यापहा ||

Saraswati Sloka

सरस्वती मया दृष्टा वीणापुस्तकधारिणीहंसवाहनसंयुक्ता विद्यादानं करोतु मेप्रथमं भारती नाम द्वितीयञ्च सरस्वतीतृतीयं शारदा देवी चतुर्थ हंसवाहिनीपञ्चमं तु जगन्माता षष्ठं वागीश्वरी तथासप्तमं चैव कौमारी अष्टमं वरदायिनीनवमं बुद्धिदात्री च दशमं ब्रह्मचारिणीएकादशं चन्द्रघण्टा द्वादशं भुवनेश्वरीद्वादशै तानि नामानि त्रिसन्ध्यं य पठेन्नरःजिव्हाग्रे वसते तस्य ब्रह्मरूपा सरस्वती

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