Port-of-Spain: Away from fetes, dancing and merry-making as Trinidad and Tobago, the oil-rich Caribbean republic observes its annual carnival, devout Hindus went to temples and other public places to observe the annual Shivratri here Feb 27.
Thousands of Hindu women dressed in saris and men in kurtas spent Thursday night in over 400 temples across the land, offering special jhalls (a mixture of milk, dhai, flowers, sugar-cane, sweets) to Lord Shiva.
For the past three weeks, Hindus maintained strict adherence and did not eat meat or indulged in alcoholic drinks in preparation for Shivratri.
Scores of temples hosted special Lord Shiva Yagnas, all of which were carried live on several radio stations.
Satnarayan Maharaj led Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, which controls approximately 80 primary, secondary and pre-schools, were given the day off from classes.
Ramesh Tiwari, spiritual leader of the Edinburgh Hindu temple in Chaguanas town, has called on the nation, “to embrace the teachings espoused in the Shiva Puranas and other Hindu religious texts”.
“The observance of Shivratri gives mankind another chance to reconnect with Lord Shiva. The world continues to travel down the pathway of spiritual, oral and ethical decline,” Tiwari told devotees.
The observance of Shivratri was brought by the indentured Indian labourers who came from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar between 1845 and 1917.
Out of a population of 1.3 million people, some 25 percent people are devout Hindus.