10 February 2019
Bhubaneswar: Goddess Saraswati, the Hindu deity of music, culture and learning, was worshiped across the State with traditional pomp and gaiety on Monday. On the occasion, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote on his Twitter handle, “I extend my warm greetings to everyone on the auspicious festival of Basant Panchami and Saraswati Puja. I pray that Maa Saraswati showers her blessings on everyone.”
Noted sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik created a beautiful sand sculpture on golden sea beach of Puri to create awareness on women's empowerment. In adherence to prevailing rituals, the ‘anukul’ of the chariot log (Ratha Katha) was also held at Srimandir here today on the occasion of Saraswati Puja (Sri Panchami).
While the carpender servitors of the temple will commence the chariot construction work on ‘Akhaya Trutiya’, ‘Ratha Katha Anukula’ will mark the beginning of the process.
It was a day of mirth for children, for whom Saraswati puja is a "no study" day. To receive the goddess's blessings, students also placed their books, pens and musical instruments beside the idol for the entire day. Children also 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, which will be followed by sumptuous lunch comprising "khichuri" -- a mixture of rice and lentils, with potato and cauliflower added for taste.
Women and girls decked up in traditional bright-yellow sarees signifying Basant Panchami -- heralding the arrival of spring -- and men and boys in kurtas offered flowers to the deity, as families shared "prasad" in cities, towns and villages. Basant Panchami marks the beginning of spring and falls on the fifth day of Maagh each year. The pleasant shift in weather is celebrated in multiple ways around the country. One of the common motifs of the spring festival is the colour yellow. The colour symbolises renewed hope, optimism, energy and beginnings.