Reasons to celebrate Mahashivaratri

Shivaratri is an occasion for prayer, fast, solemnity with earnestness to gain a purified mind, body and soul. Mahashivaratri is celebrated with great pomp and show across various parts of the India having a predominant Hindu population. For hindus this illustrious festival comes on the 14th day in the dark half of the month of Phalguna preceding the night of the new moon named shivaratri or mahahshivaratri. Once a year this day is of great importance especially for womenfolk and devotees of shiva among the hindus.

On this night of shiva devotees worship the lingam form while mainly the men folk prepare an intoxicating drink called thandai made from cannabis, almonds and milk while singing songs in praise of the lord and dancing to the beat of the drums.

On shivaratri a night long keep vigil is kept while worshipping the phallic idol especially at midnight when the epitome is reached with the devotees being blessed by the Lord in his true heavenly form. The lingam is bathed with milk, honey, curd, ghee and coconut water. According to a legend a hunter who had been trapped on a tree while fleeing from a tiger kept awake by picking leaves off a nearby bili tree while chanting the name of Lord shiva, requesting him to save his life. This dedicated worship pleased the lord who then blessed the man. On this day bili leaves are also placed on the lingam during prayers and it is also bedecked with datura or other white flowers which are preferred by the supreme god.

Legend also pronounces that lord shiva was married to devi parvati on shivaratri. It is also known that lord shiva became Neelkanth by swallowing the deadly poison which would otherwise have annihilated the entire world.

Shivaratri celebrates a day of rendering thanks to the Almighty lord for protecting the world.

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