In Kerala, Saraswathi pooja- the 9th day of the Navrathri, is an auspicious day . On the 7th day of Navrathri, students keep their books for Pooja and pray to the Goddess Saraswati to bestow wisdom and knowledge. Along with books, we keep tools related to work as your car keys, camera, laptop or even your Ghungroo at the deity’s feet.
Oh, I miss keeping my Ghungroo for Pooja. 🙁
We do Pooja and keep kumkum on all these to get the Goddess’ blessings. As a kid, I loved the Pooja Days, especially because you are not supposed to read or write anything on all the three days. 😉 The books are kept on an auspicious occasion and we believe the Goddess is reading our books and thus our parents and teachers simply cannot ask you to study.
I couldn’t get a Saraswati Deity. My Durga Maa is all I got ….
On Vijaya Dashami, i.e. the 9th day of Navrathri, we do the pooja and take the books to read, then and there in front of the Goddess. We believe that we thereby get the blessings of the Goddess of learning. As kids, my sister and I were asked to sit down in front of the deity with a piece of paper and pen. Guess what? We write ABCs, the numbers from 1 to 100, the Malayalam Alphabets or even Hindi alphabets.
I still do that on all Sarawati Pooja days.
We also make Rice Kheer for offerings or as Naivedhyam. Recipe coming soon.
In Kerala, Vijayadashmi Day also observes the tradition of Vidyaarambham or Ezhuthiniruthu (The beginning of Knowledge), where in, children aged two to five are introduced to the world of letters- the world of knowledge. Thousands of kids visit a Saraswati Temple on this occasion. The priest writes the Vidyarambha mantra, “Om Hari Shri Ganapathaye Namah” on the child’s tongue with a coin or a stick. The same is written on a bed of grains representing progressive learning. The famous temples in Kerala for performing this ceremony are Mookambika Temple, Panashikaadu Temple and Vadakkunatha Temple. Since it would be crowded with thousands of children and their parents, instead of the priest, it would be your Dad performing the ceremony.
Oh, yeah, That’s me- some good 25 years back 🙂
So, how do you celebrate Saraswati Pooja or Dussehra? Let me know….