Odisha celebrates Saraswati Puja amid festive fervour

Bhubaneswar: Goddess Saraswati, regarded as the Hindu deity of music, culture and learning, is being worshiped across Odisha with traditional pomp and gaiety today on the occasion of Saraswati Puja.

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.

It is 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 pujas at educational institutes.

The rituals started in the morning in schools, colleges, community clubs and households, with priests chanting mantras.

To receive the goddess’ blessings, students also placed their books, pens and musical instruments near the idols of the Goddess Saraswati.

One of the highlights of Saraswati Puja is the tradition of initiating young children into the world of learning. It is considered auspicious for children to begin their education on this day. Many parents organize special ceremonies known as “Aksharabhyasam,” where children are introduced to reading and writing under the guidance of a teacher or a priest.

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