Maha Shivaratri- Celebration

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Maha Shivaratri

Maha Shivratri is a Hindu festival celebrated every year in reverence of Lord Shiva. Shivaratri literally means the great night of Shiva or the night of Shiva. Image Courtesy: dandiyazone.com

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Maha Shivaratri
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Lord Shiva

Lord Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Image Courtesy:hindugodwallpaper.blogspot.com

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Lord Shiva
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Mahashivratri Celebration

Maha Shivratri is celebrated every year on the 13th night/14th day of the Maagha or Phalguna month of Hindu calendar. The festival is principally celebrated by offerings of Bael or Bilva/Vilvam leaves to Lord Shiva, all day fasting and an all night long vigil. Image Courtesy:travelindia-guide.com

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Mahashivratri Celebration
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Legend of Maha Shivaratri

According to a legend, Parvati performed tapas, prayed and meditated on this day to ward off any evil that might befall her husband on the moonless night. Since then, Mahashivaratri is believed to be an auspicious occasion for women to pray for the well-being of their husbands and sons. Image Courtesy:hindudevotionalpower.blogspot.com

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Legend of Maha Shivaratri
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Shiva’s Favourite Day

After creation was complete, Parvati asked Lord Shiva which devotees and rituals pleased him the most. The Lord replied that the 13th night of the new moon, during the month of Maagha, is his most favourite day. Parvati repeated these words to her friends, from whom the word spread over all creation. Image Courtesy:mskumar.devientart.com

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Shiva’s Favourite Day
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Rituals of Maha Shivaratri

From the very early morning, Shiva temples are flocked by devotees, mostly women, who come to perform the traditional Shivalinga worship and hence hope for favours from the god. People bathe the Shiv Linga with water, milk and honey, and wood apple or bel leaves added to it, representing purification of the soul. Image Courtesy:swamivishwananda-info.blogspot.com

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Rituals of Maha Shivaratri
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Tripundra

Tripundra refers to the three horizontal stripes of holy ash applied to the forehead by worshippers of Lord Shiva. These stripes symbolise spiritual knowledge, purity and penance (spiritual practice of Yoga), so also they represent the three eyes of Lord Shiva. Image Courtesy:hindujagruti.org

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Tripundra
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Rudraksha

Wearing a rosary made from the rudraksha seed of the rudraksha tree (said to have sprung from the tears of Lord Shiva) when worshipping Lord Shiva is ideal. Image Courtesy: Google Images

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Rudraksha
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Jyotirlinga

The twelve Jyotirlingas (lingams of light) are sacred shrines of Lord Shiva, and centres for his worship. They are known as Swayambhus, meaning the lingams sprung up by themselves at these places and temples were built there afterwards. Image Courtesy: spiritualbangalore.com

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Jyotirlinga
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Panchakshari

Shiva, as the god of destroying evil, is the third among the divine trinity of Hindu mythology. The holy mantra consisting of five-syllables: "Na" "Ma" "Shi" "Vaa" "Ya" (Om NamaH Shivaaya) in praise of Lord Shiva is chanted incessantly on special occasions like Shivaratri. Image Courtesy: Google Images

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Panchakshari
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Rudrabhisheka

There is a special mantra in the Vedas - Rudra Sukta - which is recited by pundits while they offer a holy bath to Lord Shiva by way of washing a Shiva-linga or a Shaligrama which are the symbols of god with the waters of sacred rivers like the Ganges. Image Courtesy:lord-shiva-wallpapers-hd.blogspot.com

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Rudrabhisheka
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Maha Mrityunjay Mantra

The Mrtyunjaya-maha-mantra, which is found in the Rudram, is said to eradicate diseases, pain, sufferings and death. Image Courtesy: tirthanandaji.blogspot.com

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Maha Mrityunjay Mantra
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Maha Shivaratri in Nepal

Mahashivaratri is one of the biggest festivals in Nepal. They worship lord Shiva while some women fast during the entire day. Sadhus are seen with marijuana which are allowed on this day because it is believed that Lord Shiva himself used marijuana on this day. Image Courtesy:alyaqoub.com

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Maha Shivaratri in Nepal
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Pashupatinath Temple

Pashupatinath Temple is one of the most significant Hindu temples of Lord Shiva in the world, located on the banks of the Bagmati River in the eastern part of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Image Courtesy: flickriver.com

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Pashupatinath Temple
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International Mandi Shivaratri Fair

A week long International Mandi Shivratri Fair held at Mandi in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh every year is one of the major tourist attractions in the state. Image Courtesy: Google Images

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International Mandi Shivaratri Fair
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