Kashmiri Pandits celebrate Maha Shivratri as Herath

Kashmiri Pandits
Kashmiri Pandits

Maha Shivratri, the most important festival of the Kashmiri Pandits, is being celebrated as “Herath”.

Kashmiri Pandit families, who are living in different parts of the country, had special puja and prayers in their homes.

After conducting night-long puja in their respective houses  members greeted each other on the occasion of “Salaam” which falls one day after Herath.

Muslims and members of other communities greeted their Kashmiri Pandit brethren on the occasion through phone and sms.

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 Maha Shivratri festival, observed as ‘Herath’ 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.