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Saraswathi Puja

Saraswati Puja, the worship of Hindu goddess of learning, is observed on the Basant Panchami (January - February) day annually in North and Eastern parts of India (February 1, 2017) and also during the last three days of Sharadiya Navratri (September - October) (September 27 to 30, 2017). Goddess Saraswathi, or Sarasvati, is the Goddess of wisdom and learning in Hinduism.

Basant Panchami Saraswati puja and festival is of great significance in West Bengal and Orissa. Saraswathi puja is also observed by several other communities in North India on the same day. An important event on the day is the initiation of children into the world of letters on this day.

It must be noted that Saraswati Puja is also observed during Navratri (October – November) in several parts of India. On the Navratri Vijaya Dashami day, children are initiated into the world of learning in Kerala. The last three days of Navratri festival is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Saraswati in North and South India.

Saraswathi Puja is observed on the fifth day after Amavasi in the Hindu month of Magh. It is believed that Goddess Saraswati was born on this day.

Goddess Saraswati is the goddess of knowledge, art and music, and wisdom. She represents the creative and inspirational aspect of Shakti. Saraswati puja is observed during that period of the year when Nature is afresh and blossoming after a harsh winter. Thus symbolically the puja represents the removal of gloominess and ushering in of freshness.

The main event on the day is the initiation of children into the world of letters and knowledge. Children are taught to read and write for the first time on this day. The day is considered to be the most auspicious day in a year to initiate children into the world of learning. Education institutions organize special Saraswati puja on this day.

On the day, the idol of Saraswati is dressed in white or yellow color. Yellow color plays an important role in Vasant Panchami and Saraswati Puja. Yellow color symbolizes the onset of spring and new enthusiasm. Fresh fruits and flowers are offered to Goddess Saraswati.

Kite flying is a major event on this day in several parts of India.

Apart from this certain communities pay homage (Pitr Tarpan) on this day to forefathers and other dead relatives.