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Kashi gears up to celebrate Mahashivratri festival

Varanasi: Kashi, the luminous land of Lord Shiva, is gearing up to celebrate the wedding ceremony of its presiding deity -Mahashivratri with religious fervor on February 21.

While the devotees of Lord Shiva celebrate the festival in traditional way, the local administration in collaboration with the tourism department is going to make it grand by holding a three-day music fest -Mahashivratri Mahotsava from February 20 to 22. The tourism department has allocated a fund of Rs. 50 lakh for this purpose.

According to the divisional commissioner Deepak Agrawal, the cultural event would be held at Rajghat. The inaugural day will witness a kathak performance followed by poetry recital, while the next two days will feature kathak performance. Besides, a boat race will also be held between Ravidas Ghat and Rajendra Prasad Ghat on February 23. The first three winners of the race will be given cash prizes of Rs 25,000, Rs 15,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively, while the other participants will also be given consolation prize of Rs. 2,000 each.

Traditionally Banaras is also all set to celebrate the occasion with the flavour of bhang. For Banarais, Mahashivratri is incomplete if they do not get special prasad of Lord Shiva, which is of-course bhang in different forms like thhandai, burfi and mixed in other sweets. Even those who normally refrain from intoxicants, willingly accept it as prasad during Mahashivratri festival.

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