Mata Basanti Puja, or Vasant Durga Puja, is observed during Chaitra Navratri festival. According to the ancient Hindu scriptures and sacred texts, worship of Goddess Durga or Durga Pooja was significantly performed during the Vasant rithu (Basant rithu) or Spring Season.
It is believed that Lord Shri Rama changed the periof of Durga Devi Puja (Durga Navratri). During the time of Ram – Ravan Yudh (the war between Lord Ram and the demon Ravana), Rama was unable to stop Ravana and wanted to seek blessings of Goddess Durga Mata. To demolish Ravana, Lord Sri Rama invoked Goddess Durga Mata during the Hindu month Ashwayuja or Ashwin (period between September or October and November).
When is Basanti Mata Puja or Vasant Durga Pooja observed?
Goddess Basanti Mata Pooja is observed during the last four days of Vasant Navratri or Chaitra Navratri festival. In 2014, the celebrations of Goddess Basanti Mata Puja or Vasant Durga Puja will start on April 6 and will conclude on April 9, the following day of Ram Navami.
Rituals and Customs of Vasant Durga Pooja – Traditions during Basanti Pooja
Vasant Durga Puja or Basanti Mata Puja is Chaitra Navratri is not considered as a major festival as Durga Navratri that is celebrated in Ashwayuja or Ashwin month. Hence, all the ritual, customs and traditions that are observed during the Ashwayuja Durga Navratri are may not be performed during the Basanti Mata Puja.
Some traditional rituals are similar as Ashwin months Durga Navratri such as observance of fast, procedure of Goddesss worship (Durga Puja procedure), Ghatsthapana or Kalasha Sthapana(installation of sacred pot) and Kanya Puja (Kumari Puja) – worship of young girl.
Hindu Myhtology describes the observance of Durga Navratri in Ashwin month as Akal Bodhan or untimely invocation of Goddess Durga, as Lord Sri Rama worshipped the Goddess in untraditional Hindu month of Ashwayuja masam.