Basant Panchami

How fascinating that the Hindu tradition of Basant Pachami is aligned with Ash Wednesday and the preparation for Holi is for during the 40 days of Lent this year.

Similarly to Christian traditions of Shove Tuesday, Hindu’s have a feast on the day of Basant Pachami that is followed by a 40-day contemplation and preparation for Holi.

The second story of Lord Shiva is fascinating because it talks about a 40-day penance and resurrection wrapped in a Love story which is a very similar parable to Jesus’ resurrection story.

Finally, the festival of Holi that will be around the same time as Easter for Christians this year celebrates the Hindu God Krishna and is about spring, love and new life.

Good to know

Basant Panchami, celebrated on the first day of spring, which is the fifth day of the month of Magha. Basant Panchami also heralds the start of preparations for Holi, which begins forty days after Basant Panchami. Mustard flowers bloom in India during Basant Panchami, and the festival is associated with the colour yellow. The festival honours the goddess Saraswati, who is worshipped on this day as the representative of learning, creativity and music. It is also the day when we celebrate with our nearest and dearest by eating and sharing.

History of Basant Panchami
According to mythology, Kalidasa was about to commit suicide in a river after learning of his wife’s departure. Just as he was about to do so, the goddess Saraswati emerged from the river and asked Kalidasa to bathe in it. Afterwards, his life was transformed as he was endowed with insight and developed into a talented poet.

Another story concerns the Hindu god of love, Kama, who is said to have interrupted Lord Shiva in the middle of a deep meditation after the death of his wife Sati. Seers approached Kama to rouse him from his meditation, allowing Shiva to re-establish his connection with the outside world and acknowledge Maa Parvati’s efforts on his behalf. Kama nodded and shot flowers and beeswax arrows at Shiva from his sugarcane bow. Kama was reduced to ashes by an angry Lord Shiva, who opened his third eye. On the day of Basant Panchami, Shiva promised to resurrect Rati, his wife, after her 40 days of penance. Later he is said to have been born as Lord Krishna’s son, Pradumna.


Holi is a Hindu festival that celebrates spring, love, and new life.

Some families hold religious ceremonies, but for many Holi is more a time for fun. It’s a colourful festival, with dancing, singing and throwing of powder paint and coloured water.

Holi is also known as the “festival of colours”.Holi marks the arrival of spring and the end of winter. It is usually celebrated in March.

In 2024 Holi will begin on Monday 25 March.

Holi also celebrates the Hindu god Krishna and the legend of Holika and Prahlad.