Nepal is rich in its cultural festivals. Every month different festivals take place. Saraswati Puja or Shree Panchami is a Hindu festival also referred to “Basanta Panchami”. On this day Hindus worship Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, music, art and culture. It usually falls on the month of February. Saraswati is a four-handed Goddess seated on a white lotus. Her bahaan (vehicle) is a white Swan. She holds Veena (a plucked string instrument), book and a garland in her hands.
It is believed, Shree Panchami is the best day to start learning new things. The day is very auspicious day for many Nepali kids who start writing their first letters and alphabets. Children are taken to Saraswati temple and asked to read and write first letter of their life. The wall of Swaraswati temples across the country are scribbled by Nepali Alphabet, and numbers. Students also worship goddess Saraswati with great respect offering varieties of sweets, garlands and tika. They worship books, pens, notebooks and other instruments. Musician too worships his/her instruments. Professionals worship their tools. To summarize in one sentence, this is the day when the sources of knowledge, art and education are worshiped.
This day is also regarded as best day to get married or to start up a new business. Many religious words or songs are chanted as an incantation of prayers. The day is celebrated with great joy and excitement exchanging greetings and learning new things and trying to bring positivity towards life.
Marlen Ziyadinov (Moscow)
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