New Delhi: Maha Shivratri is the annual festival to celebrate the marriage between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is known as Herath in Jammu and Kashmir and there are several anecdotes behind. According to one school, the word comes from the Sanskrit word Hararatri or the Night or Hara (another name of Lord Shiva). Also Read - Maha Shivratri 2020: Best Shivratri SMS in Hindi And English, WhatsApp & Facebook Messages to Send Greetings!

There’s another legend that traces the origin of the celebration to the 18th century during the Afghan rules. It is believed that Afghan governor Jabbar Khan banned Shivratri celebrations and ordered Hindus to celebrate the festival during June, July when there’s no snow. The tradition was to carve Shivalinga with snow. In the same year, it miraculously snowed during June and July which led to much shock. Hairat is Persian word for ‘shock’ which is how Herath came into being.

Keeping with tradition on Maha Shivratri, the meteorological department in Jammu and Kashmir has forecast snowfall and rains on the night of the annual festival.

In a weather bulletin issued on Wednesday, the meteorological department’s director Sonam Lotus said, “Friends, greetings to all on the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivratri 2020. The day is unique, special and auspicious from the weather point of view.”

“Almost every year, Jammu and Kashmir experiences light to moderate rains and snowfall on this day. This year as well, we will be blessed with light to moderate rain in the plains and snowfall over the higher reaches of J&K and Kargil districts of Ladakh during the next 24 to 36 hours on this auspicious day of Maha Shivratri (February 20-21),” the director added.