By Navneesh Ramessur (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
is the great night of Shiva
, during which followers of Shiva
observe religious fasting
and the offering of Bael
(Bilva) leaves to Shiva. Mahashivaratri Festival or ‘The Night of Shiva’ is celebrated with devotion and religious fervor in honor of Lord Shiva, one of the deities of Hindu Trinity. Shivaratri falls on the moonless 14th night of the new moon in the Hindu month of Phalgun, which corresponds to the month of February – March in English Calendar. Celebrating the festival of Shivaratri devotees observe day and night fast and perform ritual worship of Shiva Lingam to appease Lord Shiva. To mark the Shivratri festival, devotees wake up early and take a ritual bath, preferably in river Ganga. After wearing fresh new clothes devotees visit the nearest Shiva temple to give ritual bath to the Shiva Lingum with milk, honey, water etc. On Shivaratri, worship of Lord Shiva continues all through the day and night. Every three hours priests perform ritual pooja of Shivalingam by bathing it with milk, yoghurt, honey, ghee, sugar and water amidst the chanting of “Om Namah Shivaya’ and ringing of temple bells. Nightlong vigil or jaagran is also observed in Shiva temples where large number of devotees spend the night singing hymns and devotional songs in praise of Lord Shiva. It is only on the following morning that devotee break their fast by partaking prasad offered to the deity.
Navarathri is the Hindu festival of worship and dance. In Sanskrit the term literally means “nine nights”. During this festival the forms of Shakti are worshiped. Literally “nine nights”, this nine – day period from the new moon day to the ninth day of Ashvin is considered the most auspicious time of the Hindu calendar and is hence the most celebrated time of the year. Although it has different names in different parts of India, Hindus from all regions celebrate it. From Kashmir in the North to Tamil Nadu in the South, and from Gujarat in the West to Sikkim in the East, it is celebrated with great enthusiasm as the conquest of good over evil. Every region has its own myths and reasons to explain this. The nine different aspects of Devi are worshipped over the nine days.
Durga Puja First ten nights of the waxing moon of Ashvin
These are the most popular forms under which she is worshipped: Durga, goddess beyond reach; Kali, the auspicious power of time; Amba or Jagdamba, mother of the world; Annapurna, giver of food and plenty; Sarvamangala, auspicious goddess; Bhairavi, terrible, fearful, power of death; Chandika or Chandi, violent, wrathful, furious; Lalita, playful; Bhavani, giver of existence;Tara, giver of success in work.
|A Winter Solsticecelebration that lasts five days.
||Pancha Ganapati is a modern Hindu festival celebrating Lord Ganesha, the Five-Faced Maha Ganapati—Lord of Categories .