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Hindus in Canada celebrate Shivratri

Hindus living across the Greater Toronto Area have been thronging at the Hindu Samaj Temple with flowers to pay obeisance to lord Shiva.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2007 12:25 IST

Devout Hindus have taken their religion and culture to far off shores and Shivratri is no exception.

The Indian community in Hamilton, Ontario has been busy in the run-up to this important festival.

Since the past seven days, Hindus living across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) have thronged the Hindu Samaj Temple with flowers, fruit gifts and to pray.

"Everything emanates from Shiva," said temple vice-president Subash Dighe.

"Without this ceremony, the temple wouldn't exist. Everything begins and everything ends in Shiva," he added.

Unfortunately, a fire devastated the temple a few days after 9/11.

And because Hindu gods and goddesses are considered living beings the ones dragged from the fire at the Hamilton temple were given a ceremonial burial in Hamilton Harbour, according to the Hamilton Spectator newspaper.

One of the highlights of the ceremony will be removing Shiva and Parvati's blindfolds.

The honour of that task will be given to the highest bidder in an auction-style process.

The bidding starts at $100 and Dighe said; it's hard to know how much it will be able to raise for the temple rebuilding fund.

On Friday, the local Hindu community will honour Dr Paul Younger, emeritus professor of religious studies at McMaster University and a world-renowned expert on Lord Shiva.

First Published: Feb 16, 2007 12:18 IST