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Haribodhini Ekadashi being observed today

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KATHMANDU — Hindus across the country are observing the Haribodhini Ekadashi, a religious ritual dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the god responsible for upkeep and sustaining life on Earth today.

Devotees pay obeisance to Lord Vishnu on this day by observing fast and taking holy dips at rivers and ponds since early in the morning.

Hindu people believe that one, who fasts on this day and worships Vishnu, gets blessings. Haribodhini Ekadashi is considered an important festival as on this day, Vishnu awakens from his monsoon month’s slumber.

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A wedding of tulasi (basil) planted in Ashadh Shukla Ekadashi is organised tomorrow. Devotees will visit several Vishnu temples across the country.

Thousands of visitors visit four Narayan temples in Kathmandu Valley — Changu Narayan of Bhaktapur, Bishankhu Narayan of Lalitpur, Sesh Narayan and Ichangu Narayan of Kathmandu districts to worship the god and observe the festival.

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Shree Panchami today

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KATHMANDU — Shree Panchasmi also known as Basanta Panchami or Saraswoti Puja, was observed across the country by worshipping Saraswoti, the Goddess of knowledge, wisdom, learning, art, music and culture, on Monday.

Shree Panchami is celebrated on the fifth day of the waxing moon in the month of Magh every year according to the Nepali calendar.

The festival is celebrated every year on the fifth day of the bright half of the Nepali month of Magh. People from the Hindu and Sikh communities mainly in Nepal and eastern India observe this festival.

The festival is taken as the symbol of an advent of the spring season as plants start sprouting; winter crops like barley and wheat plants and plum, pear and peach trees start yielding and many flowering plants start blooming with this.

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The day is very special for students and new learners. Students take early bath, observe the mass Saraswati Puja in schools and visit temples and listen to the Basanta Shrawran. Goddess Saraswati is worshiped with various names such as Bharati, Sharada, Jagatmata, Bageshwari, Kaumari, Baradayani and Kamdhenu.

It is believed that from this day, the sun starts moving to the northern hemisphere, causing longer days and signalling the beginning of spring season.

Marriage ceremonies and other religious functions are also performed on this day as the day is believed to be auspicious. Legend has it that reciting and listening to verses about goddess Saraswati on this day enriches knowledge.

The festival is considered as the best day of starting something new in human life and make a commitment to good causes.

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