Mandi Shivratri Festival
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Vacation Style Holiday TypeCamping, Culture, History
Activity Level Fairly Easy
A grand celebration called International Maha Shivratri Festival is organized by Mandi. Since the temple is home to 81 temples of Lord Shiv, Mandi sees footfall of more than 200 devotees on the day of Shivratri. The festival is also known as a Mandi Shivratri festival. During the festival, a colorful procession called Shobha Yatra is organized as per which various deities are carried in their chariots to Mandi to pay homage to Madho Rai and the Raja. As per the old ritual, it is mandatory that every deity who visits Mandi should visit Madho Rai temple first in order to pay respect to Lord Vishnu and then honor the ruler. Consequently, the deity pays obeisance to Lord Shiv at Bhootnath temple where the main festival is organized. The entire procession is swayed by drums and folk music to indicate happiness.
Shivratri is the time when local businessman indulge in trading activities of products like walnut, ghee (butter oil), honey opium and general merchandise. On the second day, Jagaran is organized. On this occasion, a guru and his disciple make prophesies for the following year. On the last day, prayers are chanted and ‘chadars’ are offered in the temple.