Worshipping Goddess Saraswati on the day of Basant Panchami is not just a religious practice, but a cultural norm as well. Pandals are decorated this day to worship the Goddess of wisdom. Basant Panchami symbolizes the beginning of new life, greenery and the happiness it brings along.
According to a legend, when Lord Brahma created Earth, it was in stark darkness and complete silence. It was then that Lord Shiva realized that no life form on Earth can speak. He was concerned with this arrangement, as without voice creatures won’t be able to express themselves. He told this to Lord Brahma, who then created Goddess Saraswati from the water of his Kamandal (or container).
The Goddess emerged with 4 hands. In two hands, she was holding the musical instrument Veena, in one hand she held Varmudra, and in one a book. As soon as the Goddess started playing the Veena, all the earthly creatures started singing. Hence she received the title of “the Goddess of Melodies” from Lord Brahma.
The day when the Goddess was born was the Panchami of Basant Ritu (the fifth day of the season of Spring). And thus, Basant Panchmi is celebrated as the birthday of Goddess Saraswati, whose birth gave a new life to all the creatures of Earth.
This is the reason behind worshipping her on this day.
Because she sits on a swan, she is also known as Hansvahini (the one whose vehicle is a swan). At some places, she is shown to be sitting on a peacock, which symbolizes melodious voice.
This year, Basant Panchami will be celebrated on 10th of February.