Vasant Panchami is a festival that marks the beginning of preparations for spring season. It is celebrated by people in various ways depending on the region. Vasant Panchami also marks the start of preparation for holiday and Holi which occurs forty days later. For many Hindus, Vasant Panchami is the festival dedicated to goddess Saraswati who is their goddess of knowledge, language, music and all arts. She symbolizes creative energy and power in all its form, including longing and love . The season and festival also celebrate the agricultural fields' ripening with yellow flowers of mustard crop, which Hindus associate with Saraswati's favorite color. People dress in yellow saris or shirts or accessories, share yellow-colored snacks and sweets. Some add saffron to their rice and then eat yellow cooked rice as a part of an elaborate feast.
HMany families mark this day by sitting with babies and young children, encouraging their children to write their first words with their fingers, and some study or create music together. The day before Vasant Panchami, Saraswati's temples are filled with food so that she can join the celebrants in the traditional feasting the following morning. In temples and educational institutions, statues of Saraswati are dressed in yellow and worshiped. Many educational institutions arrange special prayers or pujas in the morning to seek the blessing of the goddess. Poetic and musical gatherings are held in some communities in reverence for Saraswati.
In Nepal, Bihar and eastern states of India such as West Bengal including north-eastern states like Tripura and Assam, people visit her temples and worship her (Saraswati Puja). Most of the schools arrange special Saraswati puja for their students on their premises. In Bangladesh, all major educational institutes and universities observe it with a holiday and a special puja.
In southern states such as Andhra Pradesh, the same day is called Sri Panchami where "Sri" refers to her as another aspect of the one goddess.