Saraswati Puja

Every year in January the Bengali Saraswati Puja is celebrated in our condominium complex. I have bought the bhog coupons a couple of years but never managed to visit the puja pandal or eat there. This time also I saw the announcement rather late but luckily met Kittu while coming back from Dr. Nehal Vora’s clinic. I asked her if bhog coupons were still available and she said yes.

We attended our first Bengali Saraswati Puja celebration yesterday. The Bhog was outstanding. Just can’t get the taste of the khichadi out of my mind. So many of our “walking” friends were there in sarees ! We couldn’t recognise some of them as we are used to seeing them only in track pants :). The Panditji got late and so the Puja got late. It was almost 2.30 pm when the Bhog was served.

The Puja Pandal was beautifully setup and Maa Saraswati’s idol looked beautiful. Amma enjoyed the food too. She has more friends than Krishnan and I do and they were out in full force at the pandal.

For us Tamilians, Saraswati Puja comes around the Dussehra time and not in January. India has such a wide spectrum of celebrations and each one has its own unique food and rituals…. I must start capturing these more seriously just to document them, particularly the food. The Khichadi for instance, is a complete meal. The Tomato and plum or date chutney they served yesterday was outstanding. I have to get the recipe for that. Padmaja had served us the Oriya version of the Tomato chutney which was also great. The Rasagolla was good, not the best that I have had but am nitpicking :).

Some pictures from the celebrations –

Maa Saraswati idol
The bhog stalls

Food was served in stainless steel plates and there were housekeeping folk washing them after use. So happy to see no plastic or paper plates.

The seating arrangement in the pandal
The pandal from a distance … don’t miss the lights strung across. It was nicely lit up in the evening.

4 thoughts on “Saraswati Puja”

  1. In Bengal , and some other places of India , this festival is celebrated as Basant Panchami. Farmers do it . But in Bengal . It is celebrated in every household and mainly students are the organisers. Devi Saraswati is regarded as the Goddess of learning and innovation.

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