Basant Panchami
 
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Basant Panchami, the Festival of Spring, is celebrated mainly in Haryana and Punjab, during February-March. It is celebrated at the end of winter to welcome spring. 'Basant Ritu' means the spring season in Hindi. During this season in Haryana the mustard fields are in full bloom, giving the impression of yellow carpets laid out on acres of land. People welcome this change of season by wearing yellow clothes, flying kites and having fun. A puja (prayer) is held in the house, teeka applied on the deity as well as everyone's forehead.

Kite flying is the major and most colorful event of this festival. The sky is covered with different colorful fighter kites. The kites (patang in Hindi) are of medium size normally from 1 feet to 4 feet across and made of paper on a frame of bamboo strips. Preparation for this festival start many days earlier and people spend a lot of money on the kites. New clothes are purchased for this festival and many delicious dishes prepared for this particular occasion. In Haryana, sweet yellow rice, flavored with saffron, is prepared for Basant Panchami.

'Yellow' is the color of the festival and so it dominates everywhere i.e. in the kites, in the clothes, especially in the clothes of ladies, as ladies make a lot of preparation for this particular occasion. There are kites in the sky not only in daytime but also in night. People use searchlights in the night to fly the kites. All the family members gather at one single place, many times on the rooftops, and celebrate this festival.
 


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