Saraswati Day – The Balinese Holiday of Knowledge that You Must Know

022214_0903_saraswatime1Bali is the beautiful island which is completed by many unique holidays. One of them is Sarawasti day. Saraswati day is a traditional Balinese holiday to celebrate the day when knowledge is given by God through the beautiful goddess Saraswati. Saraswati day is held every six months according Balinese Calendar (210 days), on Saniscara (Saturday) Wuku Watugunung (the last week in the Balinese calendar system) and for this year, it will be held at 28th November 2015.

The word Saraswati comes from the Sanskrit words sara and swaandthi; it means the one who gave meaning and the one who knows. Saraswati also means the one thing flows as a river of knowledge which will give wealth and enlightenment to those who are willing to learn or study.

bali-news-saraswati-dayGoddess Saraswati is figured by sitting or standing on a lotus with two holy animals as her conveyance; a goose and a peacock. The lotus symbolizes the ability of knowledge to remain in any situation, the goose represents the ability of knowledge to filter good and bad habits or deeds, and the peacock represents beauty and along with the goose becomes a vehicle to deliver the knowledge given by God. She is illustrated as a very beautiful woman with four arms holding (and playing) Wina (like guitar), ginitri and holy script; all representing the characteristics of knowledge. The Goddess Saraswati is the symbol of the knowledge and it can be the controller of thoughts and words.

The day is celebrated by make offerings and prays at home, in temples, schools and offices. The Balinese also put offerings on their books and scriptures due to books and scriptures being classic sources of knowledge. Some people celebrate it with pray and sing holy songs from Hindus Scriptures all night in the temple or in their house.In many of Bali’s schools students practice offering rituals, like singing holy songs, dancing traditional dance, decorating their school temple and other religious activities a day before Saraswati day, as preparation to Sarawati day.

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