Famous Prasadam Traditions
Vasant Panchami marks the arrival of spring in India. A day dedicated to Goddess Saraswati, is also known as Shri Panchami or Saraswati Panchami. On this occasion, Goddess Saraswati is worshipped for knowledge, music, and arts. Saraswati Puja is an important Hindu festival that marks the culmination of winter and the arrival of spring. People across the country gear up to welcome a new season and also the festival of Holi which is celebrated approximately 40 days later. People wear bright clothes, mainly hues of yellow and orange, and participate in festivities that include music and other cultural programmes.
According to popular belief, Goddess Saraswati was born on this day. Another belief states that she had blessed the legendary poet Kalidasa with culture and a lot of intelligence, thereby prompting other devotees to revere her, so she would bestow gifts of knowledge and wisdom upon them, too.
Distribution of Prasadam or holy food offerings made to god is an integral part of any worship in the Indian Society. Different regions in India make prasad as per their geographical significance and socio-cultural aspects and agrarian culture as well. Especially in the North India, it remains all about food which is sattvic (pious) in nature and as a choice white in colour or else is made up with white things like sugar, rice, cottage cheese or fruits which are astrologically and seasonal related to the festival.
In Bengal there is an offering of khichuri and pulao along with 5 types of fries or fritters and chutney/ papad and payesh. Saraswati Puja or Basant Panchami is seen to be incomplete without dodhikorma, which is made out of the offerings to the Goddess Saraswati the next morning. Its a sweet curd mixed with chura, batasha and mashed sandesh, murki and all good things. It’s done on the next day after the Saraswati puja.
People in Delhi donate panchamrit made with yoghurt and honey, kesari sheera - a rich semolina sweet flavoured with saffron and generously garnished with almonds and cashew nuts or kesari rajbhog.
People in Bihar similarly celebrate this festival just like Durga Puja. A lot of pandals are set up and Boondi, Thekua and Jujube (ber) are distributed as prasad widely in most parts.
In most part of Gujrat pepple offer sweet yellow rice to the Goddess.