Vasant Panchami is celebrated every year on the fifth day of the bright half of the Indian month of Magh.
Devotees worship Goddes Sarswati who signifies knowledge, learning, arts and culture. She is seen as the serene Goddess wearing a crescent moon on her brow riding a swan or seated on a lotus flower. Saraswati Puja is performed to pay allegiance to the Goddess of learning.In the Vedas, Goddess Saraswati is refered as the water deity and is revered for her purifying and enriching powers. The Goddess of knowledge and learning is said to have invented Sanskrit, the language of the Brahmins, of scriptures and scholars.
Saraswati puja is performed by offering roli, moli, yellow flowers, gulal, fruits, yellow-coloured sweets (sohanpapdi sweet made with besan).
The idol is in white, symbolizing purity. The sari of the Deity is white or yellow dyed in the natural dye made from "Shiuli" flowers.
The place where Saraswati is seated is all decorated with fresh flowers and rangoli and the design of a fish is considered auspicious.
A flat low stool made of wood is covered with yellow cloth and the idol is placed on it, facing towards the east.
The face of the idol remains covered till the priest begins chanting of mantras at the commencement of puja.
A green coconut is placed in an earthen pot with a red checked cotton cloth called "Gamocha".
A havan is done by the priest using special wood, ghee, joss sticks and incense. A diya or lamp is lit beside the prasad.Aarti is performed by the priest twice in day, in the morning and then again in the evening.
Saraswati Puja Samagri (Ingredients):
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