Often, the five foods of immortality - milk, clarified butter, curd, honey and sugar are placed before the Kalash. Many devotees keep on chanting "Om Namah Shivaya!" mantra throughout the festival time to purify themselves.
In Shiv temples, devotees maintain long vigils during the night, keeping awake to listen to stories, hymns and songs related to Lord Shiva. They break the fast the next morning, after the nightlong worship.
According to a noted spiritual leader Gyan Rajhans, Hindus believe in one supreme God, but worship Him through various male and female deities, each one representing His certain function, characteristic, manifestation or quality.
He further adds that this principle of "unity in diversity" is very important to mainstream Hindus, but some western scholars and non-Hindus misinterpret it as polytheism -believing in many Gods.
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