Mahashivratri celebrated with religious fervour in kashmir

SRINAGAR: The Hindu festival of Mahashivratri, locally known as Herath, was on Monday 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.