It’s the Maha Shivratri tonight. The whole of India has started celebrations as the festival is held in high esteem by the Hindus.
Falling on the night of the 14th New Moon of Magha, which is the Hindu month of January-February,
Shivratri is celebrated to commemorate the night when Lord Shiva drank the poisonous drink “halahal” and came to be known as Neelkantha.
Another story relating to the festival says this was the night when he got married to Goddess Paravati . Another legend says that Shivratri is the the birthday of Lord Shiva when he came in the form of lingam.
Whatever be the tale, the amount of fervor and enthusiasm is beyond comparison. Today the temples across the country and even in the neighboring nation of Nepal, year, Maha Shivratri sees thousands of devotees thronging them.
From bathing the lingam with milk, curd, honey, ghee, and water and then decorating it with Bel fruits, betel leaves and flowers, devotees pay obeisance to the lord. Hymns and mantras reverberate every temple corridor, as devotees observe fast and pray.
Shivratri is held in high importance by married as well as unmarried women and all those who want to fulfill their wishes. Rituals continue throughout the night.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended his greetings to all people on the occasion of Shivratri. In a statement, he wrote: “Greetings to all on the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivratri.”
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also has wished people by way of tweet which said: “Good wishes to all of you on Maha Shivratri.”