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Maha Shivaratri celebrated with gaiety across Kashmir

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Srinagar, Feb 26 (UNI) Maha Shivratri was celebrated with traditional gaiety and enthusiasm in Kashmir today.

Hundreds of devotees, particularly Kashmiri Pandits, thronged various Lord Shiva temples in the morning here to offer prayers.

Maha Shivratri is popularly called as ''Herath'' in Kashmir. The name is traced to the times of Pathan regime in the Valley when the rulers forced the people to celebrate the festival in the summer month of 'Asada' instead of 'Phalguna'.

The forced alteration in the timings is said to have brought a lot of misery on the Valley besides inexplicable changes in weather conditions that resulted in crop failure and famine.

The Pathan rulers called it 'Herath', a Persian word for utter surprise and hence the name.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor Lt Gen (retd) S K Sinha, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Chief Minister and National Conference Chief Patron Farooq Abdullah besides Democratic Freedom Party President Shabir Ahmed Shah felicitated the people on the occasion.

UNI AG ASM ARB RK1855

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