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Saraswati Day: Honoring the Goddess of Knowledge, Science, Arts & Wisdom

Saraswati Day: Honoring the Goddess of Knowledge, Science, Arts & Wisdom

While some are looking forward to the weekend simply because that is the most natural and common human reaction to the knowledge that weekend is approaching, a vast majority of this island is actually excited for more specific reasons, for tomorrow's (Saturday, June 25, 2016) spiritual moments and celebration of Saraswati Day.


Saraswati is a religious Balinese Hindu holiday which mainly celebrates knowledge and wisdom by honoring Batari Dewi Saraswati, or Goddess Saraswati, also known as the wife of Brahma, who is the goddess of knowledge, science, arts and wisdom. 


Like most of the Balinese ceremonies, the celebration of Saraswati takes place once in a Balinese year, which consists of 210 days. It always falls on the Saturday of Watugunung , which is the last week in the Balinese Pawukon calendar system, and is celebrated all across the island.


Saraswati rules the intellectual and creative realm, and is the patron goddess of libraries and schools. However, knowledge is everywhere, hence the ceremonies of this day are held in private temples in family compounds, village temples, shrines at offices, and of course the temples and shrines nestled in schools and other educational institutions. Offerings are made for all lontar (ancient palm-leaf manuscripts) and its nowadays equivalent; books.


On this day, schools are most definitely the best place to be! The ceremonies held at the school's temples, called Padmasana, are simply colorful and filled with so much young and energized spirit!

 

The normal-day uniform will then be replaced by the gorgeous colors of traditional Balinese clothes; the girls in their chic kebayas of lace and embroidery matched with the lovely prints and patterns of sarongs, and the boys all handsome in their white shirt, sarong and udeng! And the same dress code goes for the teachers and staff, leaving the school completely colorful!


And speaking of all that beauty, Dewi Saraswati herself is illustrated as an enchanting woman with four arms, dressed in pure white, often seated on a white lotus which symbolizes light, knowledge and truth.


To savor the taste, feel and atmosphere of Saraswati this year, make sure you go outside in the morning, or at least before noon! Finding the nearest school in your area might be your best shot of getting the best Saraswati experience, surrounded by those whose current life focus need lots of blessings from the Goddess that this day is devoted to.

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