Devotees perform this puja with an aim of gaining the grace of Sri Sri Saraswati Devi in acquiring knowledge, the president said.

He hoped that being enlightened through the light of knowledge, every one of the country will be freed from communalism, ignorance and cowardice and they will come forward to build a prosperous and developed society.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, said Goddess Saraswati is the symbol of truth, justice and enlightenment, while she is the bearer of knowledge, words and melody.

On this occasion, she urged all members of the Hindu community to devote themselves to the advancement of the country by acquiring knowledge.

Sheikh Hasina requested all to observe the puja following the health guidelines and maintaining social distancing in this critical time of coronavirus.

On the day of Saraswati Puja, children are traditionally introduced to education and learning and this ritual is called "Hatekhori".

Toddlers are usually given a slate and chalk to scribble with on the auspicious day.

Major Hindu temples, schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions stage the festival with traditional gaiety and religious fervor.

The students in particular seek blessings of goddess Saraswati in their pursuit of knowledge, art, music and culture.

The most decorative and gorgeous celebration of Saraswati Puja is usually arranged on the premises of Jagannath Hall of Dhaka University where a huge number of devotees and crowd throng to perform the religious rituals and visit the pandals circled on the playground of the university's largest dormitory.

The rituals of Saraswati Puja will begin Friday morning at temples and educational institutions and residences followed by offering of 'Anjali', distribution of Prashad, cultural function, discussion and rendering of devotional songs.

Then children will be imparted "Hatekhori" (introduction to learning) and later prashad (foodstuff devoted to the goddess) will be distributed among the devotees.

According to Hindu faith, goddess Saraswati represents power, creativity and inspiration and presents herself when the weather is pleasant and nature is in its full grandeur.

Depicted as a graceful goddess with a crescent moon adorning her brow, she is shown riding a swan or a peacock or is seated on a lotus flower.

The Puja will also be arranged at Dhakeswari National Temple, Jagannath Hall, Ram Krishna Mission, Siddheswari Temple, Farashganj, Shakhari Bazar, Tanti Bazar and different other places in old Dhaka, Banani, Ramna Kali Mandir and Maa Anandamayi Ashram and different educational institutions in the city.

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