Herath celebrated with religious fervor
File Photo

Herath celebrated with religious fervor

The Hindu festival of Mahashivratri, locally known as Herath, was on Sunday celebrated across Kashmir with religious fervour.

The Hindu festival of Mahashivratri, locally known as Herath, was on Sunday celebrated across Kashmir with religious fervour.

Temples wore a festive look as devotees made a beeline to participate in the special prayers. The festival holds an important place among Kashmiri Pandits who celebrate it to mark the wedding of Shiva and Parvati by cooking traditional Kashmiri food, especially fish.

The occurrence of rain or snowfall on this day is considered to be a good omen.

"It is one of the most important festivals for Kashmiri Pandits. It is actually celebrated for three days. On the first day special 'poojas' are held in all temples especially the Shiva temples and on the second day Kashmiri Muslims visit the houses of Pandits and extend their greetings," said Kumar Wanchoo, a Kashmiri Pandit. "This festival has become a symbol of communal harmony and in local parlance the second day is known as 'Salam' because it is on this day we get greetings from the Muslim brethren."

The three-day festival will end on Tuesday with final prayers. The biggest gathering takes place at Shankaracharya Temple overlooking Dal Lake here.

Hundreds of devotees visited KhirBhawani temple at Tulmulla in district Ganderbal. The temple authorities at Ganpatyar and Hanuman Mandir at Amira Kadal here also held special 'Poojas' throughout the day followed by celebrations in the evening.

Meanwhile, Governor N N Vohra, greeted people on Mahashivratri. 

In a message of felicitations, the Governor said this festival symbolizes the values of piety, devotion, brotherhood and harmony "which are the hallmarks of our glorious cultural ethos."

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti felicitated the people on the auspicious occasion of Mahashivratri.

While extending her greetings, Mehbooba said the festival symbolizes the values of piety, devotion, brotherhood and harmony.

Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah and Working President Omar Abdullah greeted people on the auspicious occasion of MahaShivratri and hoped that the festival would be celebrated in true spirit of the State's composite culture and shall strengthen the bonds of amity and brotherhood between various communities.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha & Former Chief Minister of J&K State Ghulam Nabi Azad while conveying warm greetings to the people, particularly Kashmiri Pandits, said such festivals represent the composite ethos and rich cultural heritage of our society.

J&K Congress chief G A Mir said "this auspicious occasion would remain an everlasting identity of cultural binding, age-old amity brotherhood and togetherness of the State."

State Secretary, CPI (M) and MLA Kulgam M Y Tarigami greeted Kashmiri Pandits on the occasion of Mahashivratri.

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