Saraswati Puja was celebrated in the city on Sunday with traditional fervour. Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of music, culture, and learning, was worshiped across the state and people were seen carrying clay idols of the deity with a crescent moon on the brow, riding a swan or seated on a lotus. Sweets with a yellow hue were also distributed on this day and people could also be seen donating books and other literary material to the poor.
Chronicle Reporter, Bhopal, A buzz with festive spirit, the city denizens celebrated Basant Panchmi with gaiety on Sunday. The celebrations commenced with Saraswati Pujan for seeking the blessings of goddess of knowledge and wisdom. Followed by divine rendition of Shloks, Saraswati Vandana and Bhajans all enjoyed the day by being engulfed in religious fervour.
In schools, students offered spring flowers to Goddess Saraswati and enjoyed yellow food. They were got apprised with the significance of the day by organizing various competitions related to writing and singing of Saraswati Vandana.
Tiny tots and children decked up in traditional bright-yellow attires signifying ‘Basant Panchami’ — heralding the arrival of spring. Women dressed pretty in saris and boys in kurtas and performing the; Anjali’ (offering of flowers with prayers).
This time the rituals started on Saturday as per the almanac. But the main pomp and celebration were stored for Sunday morning which continued till midday in schools, colleges, community clubs, and households, with priests chanting mantras and devotees placing seasonal palash flowers at the deity’s feet to the ringing sounds of cymbals and conch shells.
Flowers, fruits and sweets placed as “prasad” (offerings). Families throughout cities, towns, and villages shared it among themselves.
In schools to receive the goddess’s blessings, students also placed their books, pens and musical instruments beside the idol for the entire day. It was a day of mirth for children, for whom Saraswati puja is a “no study” day. Too happy to give their textbooks a miss, they participated in cultural functions organised in localities, educational institutes, and households.
Small marquees came up in almost all localities where neighbours gathered to pay obeisance to the goddess, followed by sumptuous lunch comprising “khichuri” accompanied by eggplant fries, mixed vegetables and dollops of chutney and sweets. Such feasts were held in educational institutions also.
In today’s times, the festival is celebrated in rural areas by farmers as the on-coming of the spring season. The color yellow is the predominant colour associated with the festival, the origins of which are supposed to be the fields of mustard.
Kite flying is also commonly associated with this festival. Children as well as adults fly kites on this day to celebrate freedom and enjoyment.Another tradition associated with this day is that of initiating studies in the young.Young children often begin learning on this day, which is believed to be the reason why the school sessions start in the month of March.