Basant Panchami heralds the arrival of spring season and marks the start of the preparation for the festival of Holi which occurs 40 days later.
In popular culture, Basant Panchami is dedicated to the goddess of knowledge, arts and music, Saraswati, and is marked by special prayers to her in North India.
In certain parts of India, people also worship the Hindu god of love, Kamadeva, on this day.
The festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the 'Magha' month of the Hindu calendar.
The colour yellow signifies the festival and the spirit of spring season. People wear yellow-coloured garments to celebrate the day.
Sweets are distributed and people decorate their homes with yellow flowers.
Kite flying is a common practice during the festival. Many regions host kite-flying competitions.
Alternatively known as Shree Panchami, the festival is also celebrated in Sufi shrines and is know as Sufi Basant.