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Terai people observing Judshital festival today

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SAPTARI — The customary Siruwa or the Judshital festival is being celebrated with much fervor in the districts of the Tarai Madhes on Thursday.

The festival, which formally began on Wednesday, is is observed today with the oldest person in the family sprinkling the holy water and flower petals offered to the clan deity on the heads of the family members in blessing and partaking the auspicious sweets and cookies. The family elders give blessings to the younger members for their health and happiness.

The holy water is also sprinkled over the plants and on the foot of the trees around the house in the belief that doing this would provide peace and coolness.

Special delicacies like Bari and Karahi are cooked and eaten on the occasion. The youngsters splash mud at each other in celebration. A variety of cultural programs are also held on this day.

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Devotees throng Pashupatinath on Maha Shivaratri

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KATHMANDU — Devotees from various places of the country and neighboring India have thronged Pathupatinath Temple since early Tuesday morning to offer prayers on Maha Shivaratri.

All four doors of the temple were open at 3:15 for the devotees to pay homage to Lord Shiva, said director of the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) Bhola Sitaula.

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Arrangements have been made for the devotees to enter the main temple from three doors (a door in the south of Pingalasthan, another in the west of Jayabageshwori-Bhuvaneshwori, and the third from Mitrapark-Umakunda-Basuki), he said.

The devotees are supposed to exit from the same door they have entered, said another PADT official. Approximately 1.3 million devotees are estimated on the festival this year, he said.

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