Definition - What does Vasant Panchami mean?
Vasant Panchami is the Hindu festival marking the beginning of the spring season and also celebrates the birth of the goddess of the arts and knowledge, Saraswati. The name comes from the Sanskrit, vasant, meaning “spring”; and panchami, meaning “fifth” or “fifth day.” The festival is held on the fifth day of the lunar month of Magha, which falls on January or February.
Some Hindus celebrate Vasant Panchami as a festival of the love god, Kama, similar to Valentine's Day. And in many parts of India, Hindus also observe ancestor worship during the holiday.
Yogapedia explains Vasant Panchami
Those Hindus who honor Saraswati on Vasant Panchami mark the holiday by visiting her temples, playing music and eating traditional sweets such as boondi ke ladoo and sweet rice. Statues and images of Saraswati are often dressed in flowers. Because Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge, it is considered a favorable day to give children their first reading and writing instruction.
As the beginning of the spring season, Vasant Panchami is viewed as a festival of new beginnings, renewal and happiness. It is also a time to begin good works in general.