Saturday, 16 February 2013

Festivals of India in the month of February

Saraswati Puja


Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts and science. She is the companion of Brahma, also revered as his Shakti (power). It was with her knowledge, that Brahma created the universe. She is a part of trinity "Saraswati", "Lakshmi" and "Parvati". All the three forms help trinity "Brahma", "Vishnu" and "Shiva" in the creation, maintenance and destruction of the Universe. The Goddess is also revered by believers of the Jain religion of west and central India.

According to the Hindu mythology, Saraswati is a fair lady dressed in white sari. Goddess Saraswati is seated on a lotus symbolizing purity and truth. Along with the white attire Goddess Saraswati is also clad in yellow sari. The white color symbolizes truth and sanctity while the yellow color represents the usher of spring and blossoms. She is dressed soberly with light jewelries that symbolize her desire of knowledge over all material things of the world. A white swan is to be found close to her feet. The white swan, symbolizes all pure, good and eternal things. Goddess Saraswati holds a musical instrument called Veena (Violin) in her hand. This portrays her great passion for music.

Saraswati Puja celebration in a school

Academic organizations like schools and colleges organize special prayers to the goddess of knowledge in the day of Saraswati Puja. Preparation for the puja begins a day before. All the puja items are collected and well placed. The floor where the goddess is placed is designed beautifully with rangoli motifs. The ceilings are decked up with colorful paper festoons. On the early morning of the day of Sarswati puja young boys and girls arrive at the school and college premises to offer anjali and prayers. In Saraswati Puja, the students offer their books and musical instruments to goddess Saraswati so that she may usher in good luck and success in their studies and music. They are clad in traditional dresses; the girls in sari and the boys in kurta. After the puja prasads are distributed. A gala luncheon comprising of kichuri bhog and alur dam is offered in the afternoon. The students get an escape from studies on the day of Sarsawati Puja. They spent the evening visiting friends and relatives and hopping the various pandals and community pujas. May schools and colleges also host exhibitions and cultural performances on the evening of Saraswati Puja. The function has a deep educative value. Students learn to be spiritual in their life. They also learn the value of co-operation, amity and leadership.

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