Bengal celebrates Saraswati Puja
Kolkata, Feb 15 : Bengalis are celebrating their first religious festival of the year - Saraswati Puja - on Friday.
Saraswai Puja, which is paying homage to the goddess of education, is among the most-awaited festivals for teens.
The deity of art, wisdom and culture is worshipped on this day by students across the state and beyond.
From schools to households, people were busy appeasing the Goddess of knowledge, who is considered by the Hindus as the daughter of Goddess Durga.
Goddess Saraswati is worshipped in various parts of the country various ways and in different times.
In Maharashtra and Gujarat, Saraswati Puja starts with 'Saraswati Avahan' on 'Maha Saptami' and ends on 'Vijayadashami' with 'Saraswati Udwasan' or 'Visarjan' (idol immersion).
While in Eastern India, which includes West Bengal, the occasion is celebrated in the 'Magha' month (January-February).
It coincides with 'Vasant Panchami' or 'Shree Panchami' which is the fifth day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of 'Magha'.
In the southern states of India, Saraswati Puja is conducted during the ´Navaratri´ which literally means "Nine Nights".
But the actual celebrations continue during the 10th day, which is considered as 'Vijaya Dashami' or the Victorious Tenth Day.
Bengalis wear traditional outfits on this day. Boys are usually seen in payjama and punjabi while girls don saris.
Like in every other Indian festival, food plays a crucial role in Sarawasti Puja.
Traditionally, khichdi (a preparation of rice and pulses), dum aloo (potato curry) and chutney are served to the goddess along with various kinds of sweets.
Tollywood celebrities wished netizens on micro-blogging site Twitter on the occasion.
Actress Raima Sen tweeted:"Happy saraswati puja twitterverse.."
Actress Swastika Mukherjee tweeted:"Thakurmoshai (priest) on his way & m still sleepy, maa (mother) givin jhar (scolding), so much of work 2 do, need 2 run...1,2,3 GO."