We are having a week of celebrations. In my last blog, I touched upon the festival of Maghi Ganesh Jayanti, which is celebrated especially with great enthusiasm in the states of Maharashtra and Goa (personally very important for me with both my grandsons having being born during this festival period). The celebrations peaked yesterday with traditional areas of Mumbai like Dadar taking out processions with tableaux and Lezim by school children.
However, beginning the 7th of February, the love week has already started. The first day is the Rose Day, followed by Propose day, Chocolate Day, Teddy Day, Promise Day, Hug Day, Kiss Day, culminating into the Valentines Day on 14th of February. Originating as a WesternChristian feast day honouring an early saint named Valentinus, Valentine’s Day is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love in many regions around the world. Initially opposed by traditionalists as western culture vitiating the Indian ethos, it is now largely accepted, as anything to do with love cannot be crass, crude or undesirable and ought to be beautiful. Moreover, India has its own legacy celebrating sex and romance as a form of art as depicted in the architecture of Ajanta and Ellora and elaborately explained in classic treatise Kama Sutra.
As I wrote in one of my earlier blogs, we probably grew up too fast and too soon, because Valentines Day was relatively unknown and unheard of during our youth. However, Basant Panchami, the fifth day of the month of Magh as per Hindu calendar that heralds the end of bitter cold and advent of spring, was celebrated with much fan fare, especially in schools as Saraswati Puja. Falling tomorrow on Sunday the 10th of February is this year’s Basant Panchami. Let’s not forget our legacy and keep our children abreast of our traditions and culture also along with Valentines Day. After all, isn’t India a nation of multiplicity? If Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians can co-exist, Basant Panchami/ Maghi Ganesh Jayanti and Valentines Day can surely too be celebrated together.
My friend’s travel company Marvilla that’s very fast establishing itself as a company of great substance has found a unique way of greeting its patrons on festive occasions. I had earlier shared their post that they had issued on the eve of Lohri. I now share their most recent post wishing their customers happy Basant Panchami and Saraswati Puja that reads as:
Happy festival week to all my readers
7 thoughts on “Basant Panchami and Valentines Day”
Totally agree .. while we may adopt Western culture we should not leave our culture and traditions. Both can co exist. I wonder do we need any specific day to give our loved ones a hug, a chocolate or tell them how much you love them🤔
Respected Sir, Wish You Happy Basant Panchami that Goddess Saraswati be happy on yourself as Your Goodself writings continue to inculcate and spread righteous thoughts among us.My parents wedded on 14th Feb unknowingly (those days it was rarely known to anybody) I celebrate Valentine Day as my Parents Day.
Yes Valentines Day was an unknown animal in those days
Nice article Arvind. Wishing you a great festive season. Time to take out all the old girlfriends from the closet and dust them for memories… 😀
True Sir. Both western and our culture can co-exist. In today’s life, when everyone is so much occupied, such days and traditions gives a time to take a break and wish loved ones. Basant Panchami, also celebrated as Saraswati Pooja marks the beginning of Basant ritu (Spring Season). To go with the mustard flowers’ bloom; People flaunt dresses in yellow hues; On the auspicious occasion. We worship Maa Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning, the deity of Gayatri, the fountain of fine earth arts and science, symbol of supreme Vedatic knowledge and symbol of Purity, to attain enlightenment through knowledge and rid ourselves lethargy, sluggishness and ignorance.
Sir, May you be blessed by Goddess Saraswati and all your wishes come true.
Happy Basant Panchami !