Saraswati Puja—A Bengali’s View
Saraswati Puja…one of the biggest festivals of Bengalis. Every year it is celebrated with pomp and grandeur all over the West Bengal.
Today I am going to share the experience of a Bengali…that is mine.
There are many interesting traditions attached with Saraswati Puja which you will not be able to find in any other Puja…
There are not so many tough rules and regulations like other Pujas and Goddess Saraswati is the goddess of education and art so naturally students worship Maa Saraswati with deep belief and devotion so that they become blessed by Maa Saraswati and for these two reasons(as I think) Saraswati Puja is been celebrated by lots of groups from child groups to elder ones.
Now comes the budget…there is no need of huge money like Durga Puja to arrange Saraswati Puja so it is easier to arrange this Puja, as there are lots of groups with low budget celebrates this puja so naturally it becomes very tough for them to rent Pandals from the decorators, from my very childhood days I am seeing people to make the pandals with the sarees …yes with the sarees, the less used and new sarees they hire from neighbors and from the houses of the members of the Puja committee.
With the change of era and with the concept of “Theme Puja” now-a-days some groups making different themes even in their low budget but still there are some Puja organizers who decorate their pandals with saree and sometime bed sheets also used.
Here are two pictures of celebration in our last rental house….the place was decorated with bed sheets.
with time the decoration changed in the colony of our last rental house…
Pics of 2011…
Pics of 2012
now after shifting in our own house, here are some pics of our present colony…
here you can see the decoration from the decorators…
The rally of immersion here(2013)…
This year a decoration with Saree in a village Puja….
This year in the same village decoaration with “theme” concept….
in my house the tradition of decorating the Puja place with saree or bed sheets is still maintained, here are some pics…
This tradition I am observing from my very childhood days…in the day of Saraswati puja fishes are being caught from the ponds and supplied to the owner of the pond. When I was a child there used to a heap of fishes in the barandah(Yards) of our house those were caught from our two ponds and then those fishes used to be shared with other relatives and neighbors and some amount used to be kept for us. This tradition is still maintained in villages.
After our shifting from village to present town the care takers of our pond (now only one left) have not sent any fish for last more than ten years, it’s their ungratefulness and cheating that they were doing from several years but from the last two years when I had to interfere (for some reasons) in this matter they are sending some amount of fishes…above all I don’t have pity and mercy for the cheaters and also I think that there is no logic to leave my share.
Tradition 3:- Arandhan diwas(No Cooking Day)
No cooking day…this is the day just after the day of Sarswati Puja when cooking is not done in any house, in the day of Puja the women of the houses makes the necessary foods for the next day and in the next day it is being taken, this food taking ritual is called “Sijano” and I don’t know from where the word has originated. As saraswati Puja takes place in winter so there happen no problem in preserving the foods for a day. In the day of no cooking all the foods are cold(as not heated) and it really tastes very different, it is said that if you take these foods sitting in sunlight you will get an immense pleasure during your lunch.
Tradition 4:- No washing day
Another interesting tradition is…washing clothes is not allowed during Saraswati Puja and the next day.
Tradition 5:-Saree wearing
In the day of Saraswati Puja the very old age tradition that can be seen is…girls wear saree in this day, irrespective of age and status that is children and unmarried girls also wear saree.
In front of deity Saraswati the first official writing of new kid starts through the hand of the Purohit(Priest).
the analysis are totally mine and the experience i have shared is my personal….i cant tell anything about celebration of any other state coz i have never visited them.