Love is one of the most pristine feelings on earth that can be celebrated every day. Yet, to give an identity to this feeling, couples celebrate Valentine’s Day. But did you know that there is a festival in West Bengal that actually beats Valentine’s Day in celebrating love? It’s Saraswati Puja, that takes place during the onset of spring when the gentle winds take over the eastern regions. Love is felt more in the air on this day as young girls and boys step out in alluring sarees and chic kurta suits. The streets look exuberant and glamorous with the smiling faces of these young folks.
On Saraswati Pujo, Young People Dress Up In Their Best Ethnic Attires
Ma Saraswati is the Goddess of knowledge and wisdom. Students of all ages seek blessings from her to excel in their studies on the day of her worship. But interestingly, there is a rule not to study on this day and submit all the books and learning materials at the feet of the Goddess for blessings. On Saraswati Pujo, the houses are decorated with alpana arts. Flowers, fruits and home-made desserts like naru, moya, chal makha and dal makha are offered to the Goddess. After the puja, some people distribute the prasads among their neighbours as well. Young people get together on Saraswati Pujo, dressing up gorgeously in their best ethnic attires.
The Festival Is An Official Holiday In West Bengal
Saraswati Pujo is celebrated in a grand manner in the schools and colleges of West Bengal. And youngies of high schools and colleges eagerly wait to see their lovers and crushes in sarees and kurtas. Unlike Valentine’s Day, Saraswati Pujo is an official holiday for all institutes across West Bengal. Students go to the institutions on Saraswati Pujo not to study, but to celebrate. To go out on Valentine’s Day, one would need to skip tuitions and also cook stories to bag a ‘yes’ from strict parents. But on Saraswati Pujo, one can have to excuse to dress up and step out, as, after all, it’s a holiday. Most offices also remain shut in West Bengal on this day.
It Falls In Spring, Around The Same Time As Valentine’s Day
Saraswati Pujo falls during springtime, around the same time as Valentine’s Day ( and at times on the same date too). The chilled winds coupled with the smell of spring and warm sunlight intensify the feeling of romance. The weather remains soothing and the air remains loaded with vibes of joy, letting romance bloom in full swing between couples.
The Traditional Touch Makes Romancing All The More Special
On the morning of Saraswati Puja, girls smear haldi on their skins before taking bath. This brings out their inner glow and they look prettier when they wear the sarees. Previously, there was a practice of wearing mostly yellow sarees, but modern-day girls experiment with diverse colours and styles. Boys and men also deck themselves up in beautiful traditional outfits. And Indians look absolutely stunning when they don ethnic ensembles and dress up. This touch of ethnicity makes the festival all the more magical. No wonder, even many singles end up falling in love on this day. The traditional aspect is like a ‘cherry on the cake’ on the romance. The festival is a fete affair in Kolkata, the city of joy. So, would you also like to visit Bengal to experience this desi, heartwarming version of Valentine’s Day? For now, enjoy this virtual tour of Kolkata from the comfort of your couch: