Bhubaneswar: Saraswati Puja is being celebrated today across the state with traditional gaiety and religious fervour. Goddess Saraswati, the deity of art, wisdom and culture is being worshipped by students. People are seen busy appeasing the Goddess of knowledge.

Typically held “on the fifth day after no moon night in the Hindu month of Magh.” Goddess Saraswati is depicted with a sitar and is seated on a lotus with a swan by her side (her preferred means of transport). Her four arms represent the four aspects of human learning: mind, intellect, alertness, and ego.

Students dressed in colourful dresses are seen offering flowers and taking the items they use in school like (notebooks, pencils, etc.) for a ritual before the deity. Preschoolers are often taught to write on this day. Many preschoolers, sitting with the priest in front of the idol, were seen writing some alphabets as a ritual to begin their formal education.

Pandals have been put up at many places, including schools and art and music institutions, where the students and youths have joined in the celebration to worship the Goddess.

Clay idols of the goddess were seen with a crescent moon on the brow, riding a swan or seated on a lotus with flowers, fruits and sweets placed as offerings before it.

Cultural programmes and other fun filled activites have also been organised at different pandals and in schools to mark the occasion.