PATNA, INDIA, January 21, 2010: On January 20 Hindus across India celebrated Saraswati Puja on the occasion of Basant Panchami, considered as one of the most auspicious days in the year for initiation of children into learning. In Patna, former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav celebrated the event with students of his alma mater. “Mainly on this day, students offer prayers to Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and education, in schools and the colleges. In the B. N. College in Patna University in Bihar from where I have passed out, I had come specially to be the part of the celebrations here,” said Yadav.
Saraswati Puja is observed on the fifth day after the no moon night in the Hindu month of Magh. Tradition has it that children should not begin their education until the initiation ceremony is performed before Goddess Saraswati. A large number of children are initiated into learning at temples or at home in front of the murthi of Goddess Saraswati.