India is a land of festivals and celebrations. These festivals give an opportunity for the people to come together and share in each other's joys. All the festivals are celebrated with gaiety, merriment and pomp. Indeed, it is rightly said of India that here one just needs an excuse to celebrate. In this land of numerous deities, not only are festivals celebrated in remembrance of these gods and goddesses, but also on the advent of even commencement of a season
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.