Goddess Saraswati, regarded as the Hindu deity of music, culture and learning, was worshiped across the State with traditional pomp and gaiety on Sunday. Women and girls wearing traditional bright-yellow saris signifying Basant Panchami heralding the arrival of spring and men and boys in kurtas offered flowers to the deity and families shared Prasad in cities, towns and villages.
It was a day of mirth especially 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.
Clay idols of the goddess with a crescent moon on the brow, riding a swan or seated on a lotus with flowers, fruits and sweets placed as offerings before them were the sight at the places of worship.
The rituals started early morning in schools, colleges, community clubs and households with priests chanting mantras and devotees placing lotus ad seasonal Palash flower at the deity’s feet to the sounds of cymbals and conch shells.
To receive the goddess’ blessings, students also placed their books, pens and musical instruments beside the idols for the entire day.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik greeted everyone on the auspicious occasion.