By Ajay Kumar
Patna, Feb.12 : Though Sarswati Puja festival is marked in praise of Goddess of knowledge with deep fervour in many parts of the country, it holds its special significance in Bihar, especially for kids.
Several children are introduced to reading writing and arithemetic skills in a ceremonial function named "Khalli Chuai" on the occasion of Sarswati Puja that is invariably organised on the Basant Panchmi day (arrival of Spring) as per Hindu almanac,
After worshipping Goddess Sarswati, the parents help their children in writing "Om", the sacred syllable representing Brahman, the impersonal Absolute of Hinduism, on a slate with chalk.
"Today is the day to start learning the three 'Rs', reading, writing and arithmetic by worshipping the Goddess Saraswati. It is the very auspicious day. The spring season starts and people worship Goddess Saraswati," said Suresh Dutt Mishra, a priest. "The trees bear flowers and fruits during this season, so on this auspicious occasion, we start the first Sanskar (traditional duty) for learning period of children," he added.
Mothers believe if their children start learning from today, they become extra intelligent.
"We believe if the children write with "Khalli" (chalk piece) today, Goddess Saraswati will bless them with more wisdom and our children will become more intelligent," said Priyanka, mother of a child.
"Goddess Saraswati blesses everyone with knowledge. People believe on this day if their children write with "Khalli", they will have a bright future by Goddess' grace," said Monica, mother of another child.
Saraswati Puja was commemorated on Monday (Feb.11) in different parts of the country.