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Maha Shivaratri Pooja, Maha Shivratri Festival in 2012
The concept of the Maha Shivaratri came from Parvatiís request of worshipping Shiva on the day that pleased him the most. Apparently when Shiva had created the earth and universe she asked him the day which he liked the most in the year. Shiva replied accordingly that the 13th night of the month of Magha according to the Hindu calendar was the day he preferred the most in the year. Parvati was extremely gratified by the Lordís benevolent declaration and she decided to let all her friends know about her husbandís choice. The date stuck to the Lord and he was given all the things he loved most in his life. Some parts of India
celebrate the day during the month of Falguna too.

For a traditional ritual, it is important to fast the day before offering Lord Shiva any food or other things. Shiva is considered to be the God who is pleased by little things, so an offering of milk or water, along with some leaves of the Bilva (Bel) tree and a good hint of
Cannabis is traditionally given to the Lord. Shiva is the God famous for his love for Cannabis, so no Shivaratri celebration is done without the aid of some of it, popularly known as ganja in India, where it is celebrated the most.
The ritual starts during the day where the devotees fast through the day and wait for the evening to arrive and the moon to appear when they would pour an amount of water on Shivaís head, preferably the water from the holy river Ganges, and milk, along with other
Maha Shivratri Festival
offerings. The devotee can then eat any kind of food, however, that that should be prepared without any sort of meat, fish or poultry, onion and garlic.

A lot of people swear that wearing a rosary made of rudraksha aids to the worshipping of the God, chanting the Shiva Slokas and Stotras along with painting the Shiva Lingam (the Ideal Shiva idol is actually the sign of the Lingam, or the united form of the sexual act between Shiva and Parvati) with turmeric, ash and sandalwood paste.

Maha Shivratri Festival in 2012: Thursday, 3 March.


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