is celebrated in honour of the goddess Saraswati
who is the goddess of learning and knowledge.
Goddess Saraswati is worshipped by the people in
West Bengal in the month of Magh. She is seen as
a beautiful woman and has four arms. Usually the
goddess is shown wearing a white spotless sari
and is seated on an inverted white lotus or
riding a swan playing the Vina. The white colour
of the sari is the sign of purity. There are a
number of books by her side. The inverted lotus
represents 'a search for knowledge' and the
white swan is the vehicle of the goddess. The
Vina represents harmony.
Saraswati puja is celebrated in the Magha month, i.e. January - February. The puja is done during a specific time and period. Saraswati puja is celebrated at home as well. Homes are decorated with decorations and several forms of art work. Students place books near the goddess and worship her to obtain the gift of knowledge and blessings to do well in their studies. Reading books or studying is not allowed on this day. Children and students are happy on this day as they do not have to study. Once the puja has been conducted by the priest and celebrated by family members, 'prashad' is distributed to family members and neighbours. Flowers and leaves of tulsi, mango blossoms, and barley sheaves are offered at the goddess's feet. There is a lot fun and excitement on Saraswati Puja. At the conclusion of the puja the goddess is worshipped once again and the books are removed. The deity is then taken for immersion the next evening. This concludes Saraswati Puja celebrations. Students enjoy the festival with great excitement and happiness.