Dwarka: Saraswati Puja or Basant Puja is a festival dedicated to Maa Saraswati - the Goddess of knowledge. The festival is celebrated on a large scale in West Bengal, Bihar, Assam and Odisha. Basant Panchami is the 5th day of ‘Magha’ which marks the start of spring. Yellow is the colour of the festival and it has a great significance.
Preparations are in full swing in Dwarka for the Basant festival. Different societies in Dwarka have different plans for the celebration of the festival. Here is a sneak peek into the preparations for Saraswati Puja or the auspicious day of Basant Panchami.
Amitabh Bose, vice president and founding member of Aikotaan KaliBari O Seva Samiti says that the Saraswati Puja celebrations will be kept simple this year. The venue for the Saraswati puja celebration is community hall sector 12 where a small idol will be brought and the rituals will be performed.
He further says, “On January 26th we will be celebrating Saraswati puja with proper rituals and enthusiasm. After ‘Pushpanjanli’ there will be ‘bhog’ distribution. ‘Hathe Khori’ ritual will be performed for small kids”. ‘Hathe Khori’ is a ceremony in Bengali culture which is organised for children who have not started their education. On the auspicious day of Basant Panchami, they write their first word in front of the Goddess and seek blessings.”
One can attend Saraswati Puja celebrations at multiple locations in Dwarka and one of them is KaliBari. Jayant Ghosh, General secretary, KaliBari, says, “Basant Panchami will be celebrated in the basement hall of KaliBari, Dwarka. Thousands of people throng the area to be a part of the celebration here. We will place the idol in the basement hall in the KaliBari Mandir and tent will be made at the ground to distribute the ‘bhog’.”
“200 people will be allowed at a time to enter the basement hall for worshipping. Prayer will commence at 8 in the morning. The idol will be made in the basement hall itself. Bhog will be prepared for three thousand people. Emersion will be performed on January 27th,” he added.
Surendra Mishra, RWA president of Radhika Apartment sector 14 says, “We have made a tent and a 7-feet idol will be placed here. A cultural programme will be organised where kids will showcase their talent by dancing and singing. A team from ISKCON has been called to perform a ‘Bhajan Sandhya’ at 5 pm.”