Nepal is a Hindu country where numbers of festivals are celebrated throughout the year. Maha Shivaratri is one of the most important and popular festival celebrated in Nepal. Maha Shivaratri means “the night of Shiva”.
It falls on the night of the new moon during the dark half of the month of Falgun (Feb/March). This is a festival observed in honor of Lord Shiva. It is believed that Shiva was married to Parvati on this day.In Nepal, Pashupatinath Temple is very famous for celebration of Shivaratri.
Different programs are organized in order to mark this day. It is believed, worshipping Pashupatinath, offering rudraksha (Elaeocarpus ganitrus) and bael (Aegle marmelos) leaves to Shiva on this day is to attain 1000 Cow donation, boon of feeding bhojan(food) to 1000 Brahmin.
One will attain boon of 1000 holy pilgrims’ journey if someone see only face of lord Shiva in this day. On this day thousand of devotees from Nepal, India including Sadhus, Naga Baba (naked baba), Swami ji (holy men) filled in Pashupatinath temple.
All the building and areas of Pashupatinath is filled with devotees. A bonfire is made in Pashupatinath. In many localities of Kathmandu people mostly children sit and warm around the bonfires.
People observe a strict fast and keep themselves vigil all the night. The Shiva Lingam is worshipped throughout the night with milk, curd, honey, rose water, etc, whilst the chanting of the Mantra “Om Namah Shivaya”.
Offerings of bael (Aegle marmelos) leaves are made to the Lingam. Bael leaves are considered to be very sacred as, it is said, Laxmi (goddess of wealth) resides in them. In accordance with scriptural and discipleship traditions, penances are performed in order to gain boons in the practice of Yoga and meditation.
Different people try their level best to celebrate Maha Shivaratri with great enthusiasm and trying to please lord Shiva in order to achieve success, happiness and prosperity of the family.
Learn more about other festivals celebrated in Nepal:
- Dashain and Tihar (Greatest festival of Nepalese)
- Saraswati Puja- The day for the deity of knowledge, art and music
- What you need to know about Tihar?
- The Great Hindu Festival “Teej”
- Festival of Nepal- Indra Jatra
- Sonam Lhosar:The Festival of Tamang
- Tamu Lhosar: The greatest festival of Gurung
- Gai Jatra- A Nepali Festival
- Ghode Jatra-“The Horse Parade” festival of Nepal
- Nag Panchami- Hindu Festival celebration in Honor of Snake
- Holi “the festival of color”
- Maghe Sankranti- A celebration of the winter solstice