With fasts and prayers, Hindus across world celebrates Shivratri
Hindu devotees of Lord Shiva are praying on Monday with ritual bath and prayers to celebrate Shivratri. Unmarried women fast on this day to pray for a good husband.
It is also believed that the almighty comes down to the earth to grant blessings to his devotees tonight.
"It's a ritual. On Shivratri we unmarried women observe fasts from dawn to dusk and pray to Lord Shiva to give us a good spouse," Sanchari Das, who works in an NGO, said.
"We also pour water and a concoction of milk, rose water and honey on the Shivling while offering our prayers, four times in the day," she added.
Celebrated in honour of Lord Shiva, it is said that on Shivratri - which generally falls on the 13th or 14th day of the month of Phalgun - Shiva got married to Goddess Parvati.
Ashima Dua, a home maker, said after bathing the Shivling, people offer various things - each having its own meaning.
In Nepal, Hindu devotees all over the country are celebrating Maha Shivaratri, a great Hindu festival with devotion and gaiety.
Devotees have thronged the temples of Lord Shiva, the god of destruction and salvation, and are performing pooja to appease him today. Some of them observe fasting also. The government has declared a public holiday to mark this day today.
Falgun Krishna Chaturdashi—the 14 day of the waning moon in the month of Falgun on which this festival is celebrated— is one of the most sacred days mentioned in the Hindu scriptures.
In the Pashupatinath Temple, one of the holiest Hindu shrines in the world, in Kathmandu, thousands of devotees from different parts of Nepal, India and other South Asian countries have gathered. Hundreds of devotees are queuing up in the temple premises to perform pooja from the early morning.
Every year, hundreds of sadhus of different cults including naga babas, who practise nudism, come to Pashupatinath from different parts of India on the occasion of the Maha Shivaratri festival.