If you go to India, Nepal or Sri Lanka, you can’t miss one of the most special nights of the year: Maha Shivaratri! Discover all the curiosities of this popular Hindu festival!
What is Maha Shivaratri?
Maha Shivaratri is one of the most important festivities of Hinduism! It literally means “The great night of Shiva”, a significant god in this religion. Shiva is one of the gods who are part of The Trimurti (Hindu Trinity) and represents the destruction and regeneration of the universe. Thus, every year, in the month of Phalgun, Hindus celebrate this night in his honour.
How is Maha Shivaratri celebrated?
This night is filled with small traditions. Here, we tell you everything about them!
– The night comes to life: During Maha Shivaratri, Hindus stay up all night. It is because the night is filled with music, folk dances and songs such as the Om Namaha Shivaya’s songs that honour this festival!
– Fast: Hindus are fasting all along Maha Shivaratri! The next morning, they break the fast with “prasad” which is considered as one of the Gods’ aliment.
– Prayers: The temples in honour of Shiva, the ones such as Pashupatinath in Nepal, are hosting a lot of people who come to worship him all night long. Songs, prayers and praises that exalt him as a god and attract good luck! Some women also take advantage of this day to pray for their husbands and children, while single women pray to find a husband as virtuous as Shiva!
– Offerings: During the celebration, the devotees also offer fruits to Shiva as a way of showing their devotion!
– Traditions: On this night, it is very common to see people drinking “Thandaï“, a delicious refreshing drink made of bhang, milk and almonds!
– Tripundra : These are the three horizontal lines of sacred ash that are applied to the foreheads of Shiva devotees. They symbolise the three eyes of Shiva as well as spiritual knowledge, penance and purity!
– Rituals : The Shiva Lingam ritual is the most important one. The lingam is a symbol of the god Shiva which is used to worship