First smoke and first love. Anjali and bhog. Watching films and getting caught. Saraswati puja - Bengali Valentine's Say - is as much about the Devi as it is about the divas and dudes.
Educational institutions across the city wear a festive look on the occasion of Saraswati puja and students welcomed the break from humdrum routine.
Also known as Basant Panchami, the day holds immense significance for students, who worship Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, for academic excellence and success.
Preparations for the puja had begun yesterday afternoon with students from various educational institutions collecting the idol of the goddess from the market, along with other puja items, festoons, lights and other decorations. The place where the idol was placed was decorated with colourful alpona.
On the day of Saraswati puja, all dressed up in new clothes, students flock to their schools and colleges to pay their respects to the goddess. They place their books and pens before the idol and pray for better marks.
The aarti and prasad distribution are followed by a vegetarian lunch. The students later hang out with their family or friends. Some go pandal hopping.
Saraswati puja is also the day little ones write their first words. It is believed that children who are initiated into the world of education on this auspicious day develop a creative bent of mind.
Basant Panchami is also the festival of love. On this day, a girl wears a sari for the first time, that too a yellow one, which signifies spirituality and the advent of spring.
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