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The seven-day long International Shivratri fairs were declared closed with traditional fanfare and religious fervor last evening by Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat, who participated in the last Shoba Yatra. About 200 Gods and oddesses led by Madhav Rai, and joined by Governor, officials and elite of the town who marched through the streets of the town to the venue of the fair at the sprawling Padal stadium.
Men, women and children standing on both sides of the roads rained petals of flowers on them and bade farewell to Devis and Devtas with moist eyes as they will come to the town on the eve of next Shivratri. Earlier Governor performed pooja at the temple of Bhootnath and also held traditional prayers before the seat of Madhava Rao in the premises of mini-secretariat. At Padal he formally declared the fairs and exhibitions closed and folded the Shivratri Flag.
Speaking on the occasion he said the fairs and festivals had preserved centuries old religious and cultural heritage and played a big role in keeping alive the faith in spirituality and Lord Shiva and other deities. “ Religion had for long been a great deterrent against evil”, he stressed. He decried some bad traditions of discrimination and humiliations crept in with persons accompanying the hill deities which deserve to be condemned and reformed without further delay.
He stressed that those accompanying the devtas were integral part of the hill deities and should be held in the same high esteem as are treated the deities. Centuries old religious traditions have survived due the ineffable faith in Lord Shiva and other deities worshiped and revered all over the country, he observed.