How to Celebrate Mahashivratri
1. Worshipping Lord Shiva as per Hindu norms and values
During MahaShivaratri, the Lord Shiva must be bathed with water, milk, and honey. Then, a bel petra is offered as it purifies the soul. Vermilion (a reddish-orange paste) is applied in the Shiva Linga after bathing. Different kinds of fruits are offered to the Linga followed by the Aarati and chanting OM NAVA SHIVAYA. In this way, Lord Shiva puja is performed according to Hindu norms and values. You can visit nearby Lord Shiva temple to take part in the puja and hence, simply celebrate the festival.
2. Tradition of Cannabis (bhang)
MahaShivaratri is also considered the festival of cannabis. Since Lord Shiva is regarded as an ascetic god, this festival is very popular with ascetics. During the day, there is a tradition of taking cannabis by mixing in milk or any other drinks. Usually, Sadhus take it in the form of smoking. It is taken as the Prasad as cannabis are said to have been very dear to Shiva. Nowadays, the young generation is found to enjoy the taste of bhang and daturos during the festival in the form of smokes, laddu or peda.
Usually, Hindus women celebrate this festival by taking fast. They worship Lord Shiva for the sake of well-being and prosperity of their husband who are married and those who are unmarried worship for the ideal husband like Lord Shiva. So, you can celebrate this festival taking a fast. But it is very important to take care of your health. Nowadays, taking some fruits and water during fast is considered good as per health.
4. Doing Meditation
MahaShivaratri can be celebrated by doing meditation too as it is considered as one of the best days to grow spirituality. Generally, on this day, constellations are in some particular position. So, it is very auspicious for meditation at night on this day. And so it is very healthy and effective for people to keep awake whole night and meditate on Shivaratri.
5. Burning fire
One of the best ways to celebrate Shivaratri is by burning fire. Firewoods are burn during the night in the street and the devotees gathered in the fire. It is believed that the fire is supposed to attract Lord Shiva. So, people usually celebrate Shivaratri burning fires. We can see this normally in the street of Kathmandu during the festival.
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Author: Niraj Thapa Magar