Kolkata: Saraswati Puja was celebrated in households and educational institutions across West Bengal in a subdued manner on Saturday with strict adherence to COVID-19 norms.

As weather conditions improved in the morning after incessant rain on the previous day, campuses of colleges and universities came to life as students turned up in large numbers to offer ‘pushpanjali’ to the goddess of learning.

Students were overjoyed as Saraswati Puja was celebrated in many schools after two years.

Many educational institutions, where the festival was celebrated with participants wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, had reopened a couple of days back.

Children offered prayers to the goddess of learning at household and community pujas in Kolkata and other parts of the state.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee greeted people on the occasion, tweeting in Bengali, “Goddess Saraswati, give us knowledge, impart a cultured way of thinking among us, light up our minds with the flame of Spring. Happy Saraswati Puja on Basant Panchami to everyone.”

The festival also brought smiles to the faces of clay-modellers of Kumartuli as many of them made decent sales.

“This year was better than the last one. All 100 idols in my workshop have been sold out. There were many last-minute bookings since February 1 after celebration of the festival was confirmed in schools, as a result of which many of these institutions had to make do with smaller idols meant for households,” artisan Jiten Pal said.

BJP also celebrated the festival in its state office in central Kolkata. Party state president Sukanta Majumdar had earlier said that everyone was invited irrespective of their political affiliations.

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