All about the Indian festival of Saraswati Puja in 2023
Hindu culture supports the existence and veneration of different gods and goddesses through their devotion to them. Different religious festivals are celebrated to pay respect to them and to gain their blessings. One such festival is Saraswati Puja, which is one of the main Hindu festivals and is purely dedicated to Maa Saraswati. She is the goddess of wisdom, knowledge, performing arts, and music. And thus, she is worshipped on this auspicious day, making a mark as a festival celebration.. Also known as Vasant Panchami or Sri Panchami, this festival falls on the fifth day of Magha month. To talk it in terms of the Gregorian calendar, it is observed in late January or early February.
If you are looking forward to this festival in 2023, then this year, it will be celebrated on the 26th of January. According to the Tithi system (Panchang), one can perform the rituals on the 25th of January after 12:34 pm, and this can be celebrated till 10:28 am on the 26th of January. However, the pooja can be done at any point of the day but it is more beneficial if it will be done at the time of prevailing tithi. The occasion of Saraswati puja is considered an auspicious time for embarking on new work, wedding ceremonies, griha pravesh, etc. Goddess Saraswati is worshipped by devotees and special blessings are sought in the form of wisdom. As per the Hindu belief system, it was on Vasant Panchami that Maa Sarawati was born. And after forty days, another Hindu festival of Holi is celebrated and the day of Saraswati puja marks its beginning. In South India, people celebrate this day by worshipping Lord Vishnu and goddess Laxmi (also called Shri).Worshipping them brings in a lot of fortune and benefits, especially business owners.. Other than this, in some other parts of India, people worship Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and yet other areas perform pooja for Rati and Kamadev.
People get up early in the morning and take a bath to perform the ritual. After bathing, they wear yellow clothes as this is the color associated with this day. Then they offer arghya to Lord Sun. On this day, people worship the idol of Maa Saraswati, which is also decorated using yellow clothes. Yellow-colored fruits and sweets are offered to her, and devotees chant the Shri Saraswati Chalisa. Not only do homeowners, and priests, but business owners also carry out all these rituals. One can see this being performed in schools and colleges too.
Goddess Saraswati is worshipped on this day to pray for knowledge and enlightenment. She is worshipped to eliminate the darkness of ignorance. Yellow is the color of this day and people dress in yellow, eat yellow food and home is decorated with yellow flowers. Different states of India have different ways to celebrate this day. In Punjab, people engage in kite flying games and the sky looks beautiful with different colored kites taking the entire sky. This is the day of harvest in Bihar. South Indians offer prayers in temples and homes. Though being celebrated in different ways, this day is ruled by the color yellow. The students of school and college normally do not study on this day and only worship their books and stationery to seek blessing from Maa Saraswati for performing well academically. Certain cultural activities are held in the educational institutes. On this day, even little kids are taught to read and write for the very first time.
Apart from India, this day is celebrated in Bali and Nepal as “Hari Raya Saraswati”. This is one festival that is followed by the Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs with equal zest and devotion.