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Traditions

Vasant Panchami

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Traditions

During the ancient period when Vasant Panchami was more oriented toward Kamadeva, dancing girls, dhol players, and other celebrants would come to the royal Bakshis palace to create an informal durbar with the royals. Specially made Vasanti clothes would be worn by the dancing girls and younger royal ladies, consisting of a skirt, blouse, and pink or saffron sari with tiny red square or circular dots. This clothing would be further embellished with gold and silver borders and brocade work. On the celebration day the dancing girls would collect flowers and mango leaves a reference to one of the love arrows of Kama Dev from the garden of the Bakshis palace. The flowers and mangoes were arranged in brass vessels and the informal durbar would be set up. The occasion was marked by the singing of various ragas usually on the theme of love especially songs involving Krishna and Radha or the gopies of Brij Bhoomi. At the conclusion of the celebration, the flowers would be sprinkled with red gulal and the dancing girls would apply it to their cheeks. They were then gifted a sum of money by the royal ladies.Today this is not practiced, and the festival is oriented toward Sarasvati, however Kamadeva remains an important figure as feasts are held in his honor during Vasant Panchami,and the theme of love remains an important part of the festival with this being the most popular day of the year for weddings in some areas.


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