by Chitragupt Pariwar (Hum Kayasth) on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 3:00pm
Basant Pnachami,heralds the coming of Basant ritu of spring. On a religious note, the festival is celebrated in honour of Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom and knowledge. The festival is celebrated on the 5th day of the lunar month of Magh, which falls somewhere between January and March.
Celebrated on the onset of spring, it marks the beginning of new life with yellow mustard flowers starting to bloom and nature displaying her majestic best. Thus the colour of the festival is yellow and women can be seen dotted in saffron dresses. On this day Lord Shri Krishna and Radhaji their girlfriends are decorated with beautiful colour flowers. There is an old saying Aayee Basant Paala Udant.
On this day offering of sweet pea, kesar paak,and besan ladoo is offered to the God. Boys and men fly kites. Houses is decorated with mustard and marigold flowers. Ladies of the house wear yellow sarees and dupatta's.
There is an interesting story associated with it. The celebration of the Basant or spring season can be traced back to the Chisthi Sufis, as early as the twelfth century. The legend goes that 12th Century Chishti Saint Nizamuddin Aulia of Delhi was once so grieved because of the passing away of his young nephew Taqiuddin Nooh, that he withdrew himself completely from the world for a couple of months either locked inside his room or sitting near his nephew s grave. His close friend, the famous court poet Amir Khusro could no longer bear to see his mater being saddened like this and so started to think of ways to brighten him up. One day Khusro met a few women on the road who were dressed up beautifully, singing and carrying colorful flowers.Upon Khusro's inquiry as to why they appeared to be cheerful and brightly dressed, the women told him that they were celebrating Basant Panchami, and were taking the offering of Basant to their god.
Khusro found this very fascinating, and smiling he said, "well, my god needs an offering of Basant too". Immediately, he dressed himself up like those women, took some mustard flowers and singing the same songs, started walking towards the graveyard where his pir would be sitting alone.
Nizamuddin Aulia noticed some women coming towards him - he could not recognize Khusro. On close inspection he realized what was going on, and smiled.It was the moment for which all of them had been waiting for two months. They all went ecstatic. Other Sufis and disciples too started singing Persian couplets in praise of spring, and symbolically the mustard flowers were offered to the grave of Nooh.