Bhubaneswar: Paying obeisance to the goddess of knowledge, music and creative arts, people across the state celebrated Saraswati Puja with pomp and gaiety.
Most of the educational institutions arranged for a religious gathering on the campus premises. Students dressed in colourful dresses were seen offering flowers and taking the items they use in school like (notebooks, pencils, etc.) for a ritual before the deity. Students made rangoli motifs using colours as well as flower petals to decorate the space in front of the idol.
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.
The idol makers had a brisk sale on the eve of the festival. While small idols were picked for homes, bigger ones were taken by the institutes.
The miniature pandals made of cane and bamboo were also much in demand as they were easy to decorate.
Internationally acclaimed sand artist Manas Sahoo has built a huge sand sculpture of Goddess Saraswati on the Puri sea beach on occasion of Basant Panchami.
Sahoo has built a 15 feet wide sand sculpture of the Goddess and has also prayed the Goddess to bless all with learning, wisdom, knowledge and creativity.