Nation celebrates Maha Shivratri in honour of lord Shiva

25 February, 2017, 00:13 | Author: Alicia Barber
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Devotees stay awake all night, singing hymns and prayers, to seek Lord Shiva's blessings. Dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva, Maha Shivratri is one of the most auspicious festivals for Hindus across India and overseas. The temples are adorned with lights and colorful decorations.

Maha Shivratri is celebrated on the 14th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Maagha from the Hindu lunar calendar, one night and day before the new moon.

Maha Shivratri celebrations begin with a ritual bath at home or a holy river like the Ganga.

Though for some the festival of Mahashivratri is celebrated during the day, others celebrate it during the night by organising a series of "jaagrans"(a night-long celebration replete with prayer ceremonies and religious hymns).

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Hence, this day is also believed to be the convergence of Shiva and Shakti.

Prominent temples like Babulnath in Girgaum Chowpatty, Sri Bhuvaneshwar Temple and Sri Shankar Mattham in Matunga saw serpentine lines of devotees waiting to take darshan of Lord Shiva. "We just got Bilvapatra (a trifoliate leaf offered to Shiva) and milk as offering. Women fast to ensure a good life for their husbands, and young girls observe a fast in the hope of a good life partner, much like Shiva himself", Mehrotra added. Devotees visit the temple and perform puja by offering milk to Shiva Linga and chant Slokas.

Devotees dressed as Hindu god Shiva participate in a procession on the eve of Shivratri festival in Jammu.

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