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Kashmiri Pandits celebrate Hairath, J&K Governor and Chief Minister greet people
Kashmiri Pandits celebrated Hairath, as Shivratri is known in J&K, with religious fervour and devotion on February 24.

In fact, they celebrate the festival for a fortnight in the month of  Phalguna with all religious rituals as described in Shaivism scriptures.

Governor NN Vohra greeted the people of J&K on the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivratri and said in his message that the festival symbolized the values of piety, devotion, brotherhood and harmony, which were the hallmarks of our glorious cultural ethos. He wished and prayed for peace, progress and prosperity in the state.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also greeted the people of the state on the auspicious festival of Mahashivratri and hoped that the auspicious day would usher in an era of peace and development in J&K and strengthen bonds of brotherhood among the people of the state.

She said the festival of Mahashivratri has both religious and cultural importance as the day is   celebrated by the people of all shades. She recalled that the day is celebrated in Kashmir Valley as Hairath by Kashmiri Hindus in amity with the Muslim brothers.

On Hairath, the devotees in Kashmir fill the 'Kalash' with walnuts and worship Lord Shiva by chanting "Om Namaha Shivay" and  recite "Shiv Mahima Stotram"  and worship Shivlangam throughout the night by washing it with milk, yogurt, honey and rose water along with offering of flowers and sacred bel leaves.

Other ministers of the state also felicitated people of J&K on the auspicious occasion of Herath and prayed for the revival of the composite culture of the state.

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