20 September, 2014 / Ziqa'ad 24, 1435

Shivaratri festival

Maha Shivaratri is the festival that celebrates the worship and devotion to the Hindu deity Shiva. The festival is observed by an all day fast and a nightlong vigil. Offerings such as sweets, flowers, Bilva leaves and bathing idols in milk are the traditional rituals practiced on during this festival. —Images by agencies

Hindu devotees pray during the annual Maha Shivaratri festival at Shivam Kovil in Colombo. Sri Lanka's Hindu devotes celebrate the annual Maha Shivaratri festival by fasting for an entire day and holding a night long vigil at Hindu temples island wide.?Photo by Reuters
Hindu devotees pray during the annual Maha Shivaratri festival at Shivam Kovil in Colombo. Sri Lanka's Hindu devotes celebrate the annual Maha Shivaratri festival by fasting for an entire day and holding a night long vigil at Hindu temples island wide.?Photo by Reuters
A Hindu Sadhu holy dressed as Hanuman, the monkey god, gestures at the Pashupatinath temple during Maha Shivaratri  festival in Kathmandu. Hindus mark the Maha Shivratri festival by offering special prayers and fasting.?Photo by AFP
A Hindu Sadhu holy dressed as Hanuman, the monkey god, gestures at the Pashupatinath temple during Maha Shivaratri festival in Kathmandu. Hindus mark the Maha Shivratri festival by offering special prayers and fasting.?Photo by AFP
Pintu Baba, 7, a Hindu holy man, looks at the camera on the premises of Pashupatinath Temple during the Shivaratri festival in Kathmandu. Celebrated by Hindu devotees all over the world, Shivaratri is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and holy men mark the occasion by praying, smoking marijuana or smearing their bodies with ashes.?Photo by Reuters
Pintu Baba, 7, a Hindu holy man, looks at the camera on the premises of Pashupatinath Temple during the Shivaratri festival in Kathmandu. Celebrated by Hindu devotees all over the world, Shivaratri is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and holy men mark the occasion by praying, smoking marijuana or smearing their bodies with ashes.?Photo by Reuters
Naga sadhus - Hindu holy men - take out a religious procession to offer holy water from the Ganga river at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri and the last day of the Kumbh.?Photo by AFP

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Naga sadhus - Hindu holy men - take out a religious procession to offer holy water from the Ganga river at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri and the last day of the Kumbh.?Photo by AFP ,
Indian Hindu devotees pay their respects at a Shiva Lingam, a stone sculpture representing the phallus of the God Lord Shiva, at the Shivala Temple in Amritsar, on the occasion of the Maha Shivaratri festival dedicated to the Hindu God, Lord Shiva.?Photo by AFP
Indian Hindu devotees pay their respects at a Shiva Lingam, a stone sculpture representing the phallus of the God Lord Shiva, at the Shivala Temple in Amritsar, on the occasion of the Maha Shivaratri festival dedicated to the Hindu God, Lord Shiva.?Photo by AFP
A sadhu dressed as Hanuman, the monkey god of the Hindu pantheon, poses on the eve of the Hindu festival Maha Shivaratri in Kathmandu.?Photo by AFP
A sadhu dressed as Hanuman, the monkey god of the Hindu pantheon, poses on the eve of the Hindu festival Maha Shivaratri in Kathmandu.?Photo by AFP
A man arranges the beard of an Indian naked Hindu holy man during the Maha Shivratri fair in Junagadh, in the western Indian state of Gujarat. The five-day long fair will conclude on Sunday, coinciding with Shivratri, the festival dedicated to the worship of Hindu God Shiva.?Photo by AP
A man arranges the beard of an Indian naked Hindu holy man during the Maha Shivratri fair in Junagadh, in the western Indian state of Gujarat. The five-day long fair will conclude on Sunday, coinciding with Shivratri, the festival dedicated to the worship of Hindu God Shiva.?Photo by AP
A sadhu blows a conch shellon the eve of the Hindu festival Maha Shivaratri in Kathmandu.?Photo by AFP
A sadhu blows a conch shellon the eve of the Hindu festival Maha Shivaratri in Kathmandu.?Photo by AFP
An Indian Hindu man dressed as Lord Shiva hold an 'ajgar' - snake - as he takes part in a religious procession on the eve of the Maha Shivratri festival in Jalandhar.?Photo by AFP
An Indian Hindu man dressed as Lord Shiva hold an 'ajgar' - snake - as he takes part in a religious procession on the eve of the Maha Shivratri festival in Jalandhar.?Photo by AFP
A Sadhu (Hindu holy man) smokes marijuana using a chillum, a traditional clay pipe, as a holy offering for Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of creation and destruction, near the Pashupatinath Temple on the eve of the Hindu festival Maha Shivaratri in Kathmandu.?Photo by AFP
A Sadhu (Hindu holy man) smokes marijuana using a chillum, a traditional clay pipe, as a holy offering for Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of creation and destruction, near the Pashupatinath Temple on the eve of the Hindu festival Maha Shivaratri in Kathmandu.?Photo by AFP

Comments (6) (Closed)


mohabbat
Mar 13, 2013 04:06am
May the Universal God imbibe the wisdom in all of us that all paths lead to the Creator. That it is Realization of divinity, not just submission.
Mukul
Mar 11, 2013 05:02pm
Dear Dawn, Shivlinga is not the phallus of lord Shiva as said in pic 6. It is Lord Shiva himself which represents that Lord Shiv is formless and everywhere.
sudhir kumar
Mar 12, 2013 05:00pm
They are worshiping the creator only. Shiv-shakti represented via shivlingam is the source of all creations. May Shiva bless everyone with the eternal wisdom and knowledge.
Adil
Mar 11, 2013 10:39pm
May Allah show us light so that we worship the Creator not creation
Amit
Mar 12, 2013 08:48pm
worshipping is like flattering. Creator will dislike it more than anybody else. Creator by the way is still unknown. All faiths are mere theories. Will fail basic reality test. This creator could not safeguard Afzal Guru, Laden or anybody whoever was ready to sacrifice his life for creator. Worship or no worship, Sun will rise from east
Prashant
Mar 12, 2013 08:09am
Thanks Dawn.com for this beautiful coverage. You did it for Durga pooja in the past which was equaly beautiful.none our Indian electronic media has done it