Saraswati Puja celebrated in West Bengal today
- Excessive rains wreak havoc in several states, 81 die due to flood
- Govt, Congress in war of words ahead of all-party meet
- Malaysia seeks help in finding more possible MH370 debris
- Sushma Swaraj has committed no crime: Parrikar on Lalit Modi case
- Congress hits back at Mahesh Sharma over his 'no work, no pay' remark
There was much gaiety today, particularly among the youth in West Bengal to celebrate the day of the goddess of education, Saraswati.
The goddess of art, wisdom and culture is worshipped on this day by students across Bengal and beyond.
The goddess is worshipped as much in homes as in schools – particularly since the Board exams are only a month away!
The daughter of Goddess Durga comes with the whole family in autumn, during Durga Puja.
She is also worshipped in other parts of the country at different times. In Maharashtra and Gujarat, Saraswati Puja starts with 'Saraswati Avahan' on 'Maha Saptami' and ends on 'Vijayadashami' with 'Saraswati Udwasan' or 'Visarjan' (idol immersion).
While in Eastern India, which includes West Bengal, the occasion is celebrated in the 'Magha' month (January-February).
It coincides with 'Vasant Panchami' or 'Shree Panchami' which is the fifth day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of 'Magha'.
In the southern states of India, Saraswati Puja is conducted during the 'Navaratri' which means 'Nine Nights'.
But the actual celebrations continue during the 10th day, which is considered as 'Vijaya Dashami' or the Victorious Tenth Day.
Bengalis wear traditional outfits on this day. Boys are usually seen in payjama and punjabi while girls don saris.
In Kolkata, major markets, including Jute and jute goods, bullion, metals, oil and oilseeds and the Calcutta Stock Exchange, are closed.