Join the Celebration of Maha Shivaratri in Nepal

  • Wed-Oct-2019

The name pretty much gives its introdcution on what festival it is; yes, it is the reverence to the Lord Shiva and one of the greatest celebration of the year. Being a religious minded country, Nepali peoples wroships and fasts for the bessling to the gods they adhere to. And during Maha Shivaratri, the devotess of Shiva surges the nearby shirne to offer their prayer while keeping a very astute fasting.

Maha Shivarati is the pious celebatration to the devotees of Lord Shiva. It is a mjaor festival for Hindus that is observed by remembering Shiva, fasting, chaning prayers and meditating on ethic and virctutes such as self-restraint, honesty, forgiveness and discovery of Shiva.

Maha Shivarati -  One of the Greatest Festival of the Year

lord shiva maha shivaratri

Along with the reverence and homage to Lord Shiva, the celebration of Shivaratri especially signifies the day of consummation of marrigae of Shiva with Parvati. Maha Shivarati, which translates as the “Great Night of Nepal”, the festival falls in late winter, just before the arrival of summer.

According to the Hindusm, the festival is solemn celebrates and marks a remembrance of overcoming darkness and ignorance in life and the world. As Hindusm prevails in Nepal, the followers of Shiva lacks no room. It is quite astounding that given the persona of Shiva in Hindu scriptures, even the youths of Nepal cling on to the celebration of Shivaratri.

One of the interesting part of the festival is, unlike the typical celebrations, it is celebrated during night. The adrent followers of Shiva stay awake throughout the night chanting prayer songs of Shiva and the reciting the legends relating to the Maha Shivarati.

Also, rather focousong on the cultural revely, the festival is a solemn event notebale for its introspective focous, fasting, meditation on Shiva, self-study, social harmony and all night vigil at Shiva temples. As the celebration takes palce during night, devotees does “jaagaran”, an all-night vigil and prayers, because it the night of over coming darkness and ignorance form life and the world though Shiva.

How is Maha Shivaratri Celebrated?

maha shivaratri pot smoking

In the day of Maha Shivaratri, devotees wake early in the bath and taking a holy bath visit the nearest shrine of Shiva to perform puja of traditional Shivalingam. During worship, they offer fruits, leaves, sweets and milk to Shivalinga, asking Shiva to keep up the blessing on them. Then, they keep the all-day fasting while chanting mantra and remembering Shiva throughout the day.

The sacred mantra of Shiva, “Om Namah Shivaya” is chanted all day along during Shivarati.

The worship and fasting is popular amongst woman; married women keep the fast for well-being and prosperity of husband and children, whole unmarried women does it for the blessing of ideal husband in future.

On the holy scripture of Shiva Purna following steps for performing Maha Shivaratri Puja are mentioned.

-Getting a bath, especially in holy rivers for purification of mind, soul and body.

-Then, bathing Shivalinga with the holy water at first and later with milk and honey.

-Now that Shivalinga is worshipped, aabir (vermilion) is applied, which represents virture.

-While worshipping, various fruits and flowers are offered for getting the blessing of Shiva and bel patra is must to complete the ritual.

-Likewise, diyas must be lighted, that represents achieveing more knowledege.

To fully celebrated Maha Shivarati, devotees apply three horizontal lines of holy ash on their forehead like Shiva, representing spritual knowledge, cleanliness and penance. Rudraksha Mala (Garland of Rudraksha’s tree) is also worn as it is belived Rudraksha tree originated from the tears of Lord Shiva.

In Nepal, you can observe in the temples of Lord Shiva, devotees cgant “Om Namah Shivaya” and “Mahamritunjaya” all night. The celebration of Maha Shivarati is not only enjoyed by Nepalis, touirts also find this festival intresting and praticpiate in the festival in their own way. Seeing the crowd and naked shadus lost in celebration, they make some clicks to capture this holy moment and intrecact with disciples to know more.

Religious Signifiace of Holy Celebration of Maha Shivaratri

Several Hindu scriptures has mention Maha Shivarati, mainly in Padma Purana, Linga Purana and Skanda Purna. All these scriptures mention different versions associated with the festuval and mention fasting, reverence of icon of Shiva, Linga.

-Of various legends on Maha Shivarati, it is actually the night when Shiva performed tandav, a heavenly dance of creation, preservation and destruction. That’s why on this day, there is chanting of hymns, reading of Shiva scripture and chorus of devottes joins this cosmic dance and remembers Shiva’s presence everywhere.

-As per the another popular legend, it is the night when the mighty couple, Shiva and Parvati got married.

-Another legend suggests that making an offering to Shiva linga is an annual occasion to over past sins, if any and to restart on a virtuous path and thereby reach Mount Kailash and liberation.

-One famous legend is of Samundra Manthan. According to it, Lord Shiva consumed Halahala (poison) during Samundra Mantha and beheld it in his near. It burised and turned him blue, from which he was named Neel Kanth. As Lord Shiva took the posion as dark matter by himself and saved the universe, Maha Shivarati is the celebartion of that very day.

Maha Shivarati in Pashupatinath

maha shivaratri pashupatinath temple in nepal

Pashnupati Temple is one of the holist shirne for Hindus, dedicated to the Lord Shiva, and no wonder, during Maha Shivarati, the temple gets flooded by devotees. It is believed that Pashupatinath is the Guardian and Protector of Kathmandu Valley. With this astute belief, over a million people make their way to temple on a single day, when the devotees even sleep on tent on road.

You can observe naked Shadus smoking marijuna, performing puja and tandav or participating in prayer and chanting.

Altogether there are four door to the temple of Pashupatinath and on Maha Shivaratri, all the doors are opened at 3:15 AM to allow visiting for worshipping. And even so early in the morning, thousands of devotees has alreadying around the temple complex to have the turn as in day, the crowd is too overwhelming.

When is Maha Shivarati 2020?

Maha Shivaratir is celebrated on 13th night (waning moon) and 14th dat of the month of Falgun, as per Hindu lunar calendar. While as per Englisg calender, it falls either on February or March.

As of 2020, the festival falls on the month of February on 21st. On the day of Shivaratri, it is belived the starts in Northern Hemisphere are at most optium postion to help raise a person’s spritual energy and Shiva’s principle is most actve on this day of the year.

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