Monday, 22nd of January, 2018 is the prescribed date for Saraswati Puja or Vasant Panchami as you may call it.
Goddess Saraswati, a part of the trinity (Saraswati, Lakhsmi and Parvati) is known as the goddess of knowledge, music & wisdom; she is usually seen in her cult image posture, holding the veena. During this season a lot is usually going around. The younger generation remains more excited about this puja because it is a trend or one may call a tradition for boys and girls to dress up in ethnic wear and going out for pandal hopping. The boys are usually seen wearing beautiful blends of colors in a Kurta or a Punjaabi and Pajama, while lady leagues are seen in their most beautiful avatar, wearing sarees. Also on this auspicious day, kids or rather toddlers start their career races by scratching the letters A,B,C… on a slate board with a chalk. This is considered to be the first official and auspicious writing of the kid. So you know how important and special this puja is for the newbie’s and for their careers. No wonder this year will be any exception and the young generation has already started preparing for the main event.
Jujube, a juicy fruit of Asian origin remains a matter of serious consideration during this period. This fruit which is usually known by the name of ‘kul’ (pronounced as cool) usually grows well during this period, but the bengali’s (most of them) usually are trained from childhood with a concept of not having that fruit before the auspicious puja. But as soon as the puja rituals are taken care of one may jump onto the fruit basket and grab a handful of these ‘kul’.
Some may say that this is just a simple nonsense superstition but being a Bengali myself I understand the sweet and sour tradition it beholds. Nowadays, the new generation does not care much about the ‘kul’ factor but when I was a child I enjoyed playing the game of not eating that fruit until told. Even today there are uncountable Bengali’s who become nostalgic about their Saraswati puja moments.
May everyone grow with unlimited knowledge and each one develop their unique style of art in their lives as they celebrate this year’s Saraswati Puja. Advance wishes from the KolkataLive family.