Srinagar: “Hairath”, Maha Shivratri, the most important festival of the Kashmiri Pandits is being celebrated throughout the Kashmir valley.
The United Resistance Leadership have also withdrawn strike call today to allow members of the community to celebrate the festival.
After joining night-long puja in their respective houses despite chilly weather conditions, members are greeting each other on the occasion of “Salaam”.
Muslims and members of other communities greeted their Kashmiri pandit brethren on the occasion.
A large number of devotees were visiting temples, particularly Shankarachariya on the hill top of Takhat-e-Suliman, since early this morning despite cold weather conditions.
The authorities had set up special fish sale counters at different places in the valley for the Kashmiri Pandits, who have not migrated along with other community members in 90s or returned here.
The Shivratri festival extends to about three weeks in Kashmiri Pandits’ households and each day or a group of days, has a special name and religious function which include social performances also.
The Mahashivratri festival, observed as “Hairath” by Kashmiri Pandits on the marriage anniversary of Lord Shiva and Goddess Uma, begins on the first day of Phalgun Krishna Paksha and ends on the Amavasi day in Phalgun. In between, there are numerous auspicious days like Hur Ashtami.
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