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Saraswati Puja And Fish Tradition

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Whenever it’s about the discussion of Bengalis the first thing comes into the minds of people of other state is …Maachhi-kari or Maachh-Bhaat.

Yah, this is very much true, Bengalis without fish can’t even be imagined, except our daily life fish is attached with some religious festivals also, it’s been just one day the entire Bengal has celebrated Saraswati Puja, this the third biggest Hindu religious festival after Durga Puja and Diwali(Kali Puja), its celebrated with pomp and grandeur but some time, like this year when Xth board exams almost collides with the puja then intensity of celebration diminishes.

I can still remember my village days…in the days of Saraswati Puja fishes used to be caught from our different ponds and used to bring in our house…the heap of fishes in our yard, then it used to be distributed among the relatives, neighbors, teachers, maids and other closed ones and rest of the fishes used to be cooked for the family members, which we used to take for three consecutive days.

But with time has changed a lot, now-a-days neither the relatives are around nor we are interested to bring fish from our ponds (the caretakers taking it all from past several years and never felt to send us, less conscience).

One of my student’s dad used to send us fish (they have few big tanks) but this year we strictly instructed my same student not to send fish as his father has passed away just two months earlier and we can’t accept anymore.

So this year I bought fish from the market and when I visited the nearby mini market I was surprised to see that a fish seller is selling fish in wholesale rate…Rs 150/Kg whatever the size is, it was much expected that the rate will be too high to even touch the fishes coz that day demand of fishes is too high, but thanks to God that I got it in reasonable price in the nearby market otherwise I had to visit the fish market which is twenty minute walking distance from my house…too long for a lazy person like me.

All these fishes I bought from the market, my parents are vegetarian and my sister is half vegetarian(she does not like non-veg much), so after the distribution to maid and our cook the rest of the fishes were for us and presently I am suffering from acidity taking just six pieces from day before yesterday.

Different preparations of fishes are made among which Fish dipped in a soured soup is mandatory, as I have shared bout the tradition of cooking in my post….Saraswati Puja—A Bengali’s View .in my other  blog A Wolverin’es World, the day after the Saraswati Puja is arandhan Diws(non-cooking Day), that day we take foods those were made yesterday. These foods are really very tasty; adding one spoon of mustard oil upon the fermented  rice makes rice more delicious. All the preparations are cold and generally taken sitting under the sunlight (In the villages where people have the habit to take it sitting under the sunlight).

actually...more preparations are made following the tradition but none of us have ability to take all those so just two veg preparations, Soured veg soup, Fish dipped in a soured soup(Machher Tok) , Fried Fish and sliced onions.
and let me confess...i just took the veg item, onion and two pieces of fishes and obviously the rice.


  1. Replies
    1. To some extent, i like to taste different foods but cant eat much.

  2. And here I thought Saraswati Puja was one of those few occasions where Bengali's didn't have fish. Guess I was wrong. I so miss maach bhaja!!!

    1. sorry to know you miss machh bhaja...wish you get it soon.
      Thanks for sharing.