Region: Kerala, Karanataka & Tamil Nadu.
The Goddess Saraswathi is worshipped as the Goddess of Learning,
the deity of Gayathri, the fountain of fine arts and science, and
the symbol of supreme vedantic knowledge. On the Durgashtami day ,a
ceremony called Poojavaipu is performed in the evening in Kerala.
In a village, generally, it is done only in certain households, in temples
and also sometimes in the village schools. The Brahmin houses and
the houses which enjoy reputation for learning, mainly take the lead in
celebrating the festival. The members of other houses in the village attend
the ceremony performed in these houses or institutions.
In a well-decorated room, books and grandhas (holy books) are tastefully
arranged with a picture or an image of Goddess Saraswathi in front. In
certain poaches weapons and implements are kept by the side of books and
garandhas. Then a Puja is performed to Saraswathi during which fruits,
beaten rice, roasted paddy (malar), jaggery etc, are offered to Her. These
offerings are distributed among those present when the Puja is over.
Just before the Pujavaipu
, all studies and work which mainly
require skill, are suspended. The following day is known as Mahanavami
and it is totally devoted to the worship of Saraswathi
. Pooja is
performed both in the morning and in the evening. Many more items such as
rice, payasam, thirali, etc are also offered to Devi.
The ten-day Saraswati festival
, also known as Dussehra or
Navaratri, is held September-October. It's celebrated throughout India but
takes on special significance in Kerala. Young children are taken to the
temples and, before an image of a goddess-celebrated in Kerala as Saraswati,
the goddess of wisdom and learning-they are introduced to the letters of the