Celebrations of Saraswati Puja

February 9, 2003

Source: The Morning Call

On February 9, 2003 The Morning Call reported that "n India, the celebration of the Saraswati Puja is so widely marked that schools close for the day and Hindu families gather at temple for hours of worship and feasting... Indian-Americans relegate the celebration to a Saturday, when schools are already closed. But as festivities at the Hindu Temple Society in [New Jersey's] Hanover Township, Lehigh County, this weekend showed, the customs still observed on this continent manage to preserve the day as something special... In Hindu mythology, especially among Bengali Hindus, Saraswati is revered as the goddess of learning, the spiritual figure that provides creative energy. Many worship her to do well in their studies. The celebration is held in January or February when winter in India is ending and spring's starting... The society encourages non-Hindus to attend the temple's services and cultural events, and on Saturday, 10 members of the confirmation class and several adults from Bethany United Church of Christ in Bethlehem visited... 'It is part of their curriculum to experience other religions,' said Berta Busocker, Bethany's director of Christian education. 'We want them to understand we're not that different.'"