Saraswati Puja, a religious festival observed primarily in West Bengal and other eastern states, is being celebrated in Bangladesh with much enthusiasm, especially among students. The ethos of the festival which falls on Basant Panchami is marked by the worship of Goddess Saraswati embodying knowledge, wisdom, education, art, culture and music. The festival also marks the beginning of spring and celebrated with the colour yellow.
Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid and the country’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have greeted citizens on the occasion. In Dhaka, the “Puja” is particularly celebrated at the state funded Jagannath University. Apart from Jagannath University, the Puja is also being held at at Ram Krishna Mission, Siddheswari Temple, Supreme Court premises, Farashganj, Shakhari Bazar, Tanti Bazar and different other places in old Dhaka, Banani, Dhaka College, Eden Girls’ College, Ramna Kali Mandir and Maa Anandamayi Ashram, Tejgaon College, Stamford University and different educational institutions in the city, reported Bangladeshi news organisation JagoNews.
The day is also marked for a ritual called “Hatekhori” when toddlers are made to pick up a pencil or a chalk for the first time to scribble something.
“Though it is a Hindu religious festival, it is a celebration of knowledge, art and culture, which is something universal and students across the country mark this occasion,” a resident of Dhaka told India Narrative.
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