Chicago, IL – Hari Om Mandir held multiple celebrations 28th of Jan, the festivals of Basant Panchami and Saraswati Pooja, as well as commemorating India’s Republic Day. The temple was decorated to highlight the three different themes to recognize the spirit of each festival and event.
Yellow, the color of Basant, was dominated for Basant Panchami – yellow flowers all around; many people dressed in yellow; yellow tinge for prasad and langar offered; and deities dressed and adorned in yellow. The walls were decorated with kites flying high, to recall memories of home when kite flying competitions marked this festival.
The Indian and U.S. national flags were displayed to commemorate the 69th Republic Day of India.
This Day is also considered to be the auspicious day for Goddess of wisdom, knowledge and learning, Saraswati. The temple management held a pooja to bless all children who came. The temple pundits, Raghubir Dave and Dharmendra Bhahmbhatt, recited Shlokas and sang Vandana in praise of Saraswati, asking her to bestow blessings on the children.
A group of singers led by Bharat Dhutia, Shailender Bhatnagar, Geeta Dhutia and Atwal, sang songs to commemorate Republic Day including the patriotic “Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon.” The group also sang songs celebrating Basant Panchami, like “Mera Rang De Basanti Chola.”
Children from the HOM Hindi Class sang a song to Goddess Saraswati, as proud teachers watched over them.
The Program concluded with the singing of the Indian national anthem, and Vande Mataram, and salutes of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai.”