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The Hindu temple at Woodlands holds a grand MahaShivratri celebration

Magnificent celebrations for MahaShivratri and Holi held at a Hindu Temple in Woodland following traditional rituals

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The Shiva Lingam (representative); Source: Pixabay

Woodlands, Texas, Mar 11, 2017: A magnificent MahaShivratri celebration was organised by a Hindu temple of Woodlands, Texas; on February 24 – the night of Shiv Puja – continuing till Saturday morning at 8 a.m reported the Indo American news.

At 8:30am on Friday morning, the MahaShivratri festivities commenced with the Rudra Abhishekam. The Abhishekam, which is the bathing of the lord was done by the presiding priest using traditional substances. Following the bathing, was the adorning of the Shiva Lingam or the Alankaram.

The Shiva Lingam (representative); Source: Pixabay

A smaller Murti of Lord Shiva was temporarily added on a platform between the idols of Lord Ganesha and Maha Shiva. The devotees who had come to witness the Maha Abhishekam were able to carry out a small abhishekam of their own, pouring water and milk on the small murti. This opportunity was again open to the devotees starting from 6:00pm throughout the night.

After the first Abhishekam of the day, the Tirtham (liquid prasadam) and fruit prasadam were distributed among the devotees and the temple was closed for some time till evening.

Tirtham (representative); Source: Pixabay

At 6:30, the next type of Abhishekam, the Ekadasa Dravyam ( eleven materials, eleven fruit juices in this case) began. A traditional Tamil banana puree and dried fruits along with other items were also used during this ritual. The alankaram after this abhishekam consisted of the Shiva Linga draped in different kinds of fruits and vegetables.

The chants of Vedic Mantras and different Bhajans of lord Shiva echoed in the temple in the evening.

At 10 pm, Bhasma (Ashes) Abhishekam was carried out, succeeded by Chandana (Sandalwood) Abhishekam on Saturday Early morning. After each, the priests did a beautiful and colorful alankaram, using bhasma and dried fruit for the respectively. The final Abhishekam was of cooked rice which was served as prasadam for devotees on Saturday morning. The final alankaram for the celebration was of many different types of beautiful flowers.

The celebration for all was one of great beauty, devotion, and religious fervor, to be long remembered.

The next main festival after MahaShivratri at the Hindu temple was Holi – the festival of colours. The festivities were carried on today, from 11 a.m. in the morning to 3 p.m. within the temple premises. It included playing with Colored Powder, Music, dance and Indian snacks and sweet prices moderately. The festivities were open to all to attend, participate and enjoy.

-Prepared by Nikita Saraf, Twitter: @niki_saraf

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Here’s How You Can Take Care of Your Skin and Hair Post Holi

Aneesh Sheth’s CEO, Dr Sheth’s and Madhavi Irani, Chief Officer, Content, Nykaa.com, an online all brand make-up store — have listed out ways to take care of your hair and skin after playing Holi

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The colourful festival of India
The colourful festival of India "Holi" celebrations at Vrindavan. Wikipedia.

Holi colours can damage your skin and leave your hair lifeless for days. Use a good moisturizing face wash on your face after playing Holi and apply a clarifying shampoo to rinse colour from hair, say experts.

Aneesh Sheth’s CEO, Dr Sheth’s and Madhavi Irani, Chief Officer, Content, Nykaa.com, an online all brand make-up store — have listed out ways to take care of your hair and skin after playing Holi.

* Use a good moisturizing face wash on your face after playing Holi. The colours can be very drying and using soap or harsh facewash can irritate the skin further.

* After deep cleansing, apply a soothing anti-oxidant cream which contains Vitamin E that works to repair and hydrate the skin to keep it soft and supple all day long.

* For a home remedy, mix yoghurt and honey with some rose water and apply it as a mask. This will calm and nourish the skin that has been damaged.

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How to take care of skin and hair post Holi, find it out here. Pixabay

* Use a clarifying shampoo to rinse colour from hair. After using shampoo, apply conditioner on the lengths of hair. Leave on for a couple of minutes and rinse with cold water. Use colour protect conditioner for colour treated hair.

* After your shower, don’t forget to apply a nourishing body lotion and face moisturiser as the skin tends to become dry due to excess colour and sun exposure. Applying a good moisturizing cream after your bath will also help restore your skin’s lipid balance and soothe irritated skin.

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* All that scrubbing can leave your facial skin dry and inflamed. Choose a light face oil, that works best for your skin type, on thoroughly cleansed skin to soothe and hydrate it.

* A simple home remedy to fade stubborn colour that simply won’t wash off: Make a mixture of gram flour, sweet almond oil and milk cream in rose water. Apply the paste on the areas where the colour has settled. Let the paste dry on the skin and rub it in circular gently to remove it. (IANS)