This is the first day of spring in India. On the fifth day of the waxing moon one should celebrate the coming of spring to Vrindavana by offering Krishna many types of leaves and flowers, and fresh shoots of sprouting grasses, things that symbolise life and new growth.
Following in the footsteps of the Vraja-basis of Vrindavana, one should paint designs on His (Krishna’s) body and perform a special aratrika for Him. It is appropriate to offer yellow flowers too. The vasanta raga should be played on this day. The Deities in the temples, especially in Vrindavana wear yellow or yellow and green on this day.
In places like Vrindavan, Mayapur, Jagannath Puri and Udupi many of the women folk dress in yellow also. As it is the first day of spring many fertility rites are performed at this time – for the family, for the women folk, for the crops, for the cows, etc. It’s a very festive time.
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. The puja on this day is devoted to Saraswati and people pray for wisdom and understanding. There are several ways in which puja is conducted on this day. In Bengal, the place where the statue of Saraswati is kept is decorated with a rangoli. The design of a fish is considered auspicious. Family members bathe early in the morning and dress in whit or yellow coloured clothes. Then they gather around the idol, where the priest commences the puja. Aarti is taken of the idol and the flame is passed arounfd the devotees to warm there hands and touch there foreheads. Children place their books at the goddesses feet. No books our touched that day, signifying that the books are being blessed by the goddess. In Rajsthan also the puja is conducted in a very colorful manner. The youngest girl of the house present sets the stage for the puja by putting a teeka on everyone’s forehead. This is followed by the devotees sprinkling water, aipun and roli on the diety. The puja ends with the lady of the house giving a few bers, some sangaris and a laddoo and a paan to everyone present.
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