Maha Shivaratri festival is a greatest Hindu festival celebrated with great enthusiasm all over in Nepal. This is the auspicious day to worship the Lord Shiva and his wife Parvati, celebrating their divine marriage. It falls on Falgun month of Nepali calendar in between February to March. The festival is celebrated by offering Bael leaves, cow’s milk to Shiva, all day fasting and all night vigil (Jagran). Huge crowed of devotees gather outside Lord Shiva temples early in the morning for prayers.
Maha Shivaratri Festival is a famous festival in Nepal.
On this day devotees wakes up early, take a bath, wear fresh clothes and visit the nearest Shiva temples to give the ritual bath to the Shiva Linga with milk, honey, water etc. And devotees of Kathmandu valley usually go to the Pashupatinath temple for praying. They observe strict fast in honor of the Lord Shiva. Though many go on a diet of fruits and milk. Some do not even have a drop of water. They strongly believe that sincere worship of Lord Shiva on the day of Maha Shivaratri relieve a person of his fault and guilt, and rescue him from the cycle of birth and death.
Shivaratri festival is considered especially auspicious for women. While married women pray for the well being of their husbands. Unmarried women pray for a husband like Lord Shiva, who is regarded as the ideal husband. On the day of Maha Shivaratri festival, thousands of Hindu women from Nepal and India visits the Pashupatinath temple.
Continuous prayers are done throughout the day and night of Maha Shivaratri where the large numbers of devotees sing religious songs, rings the bells of temple in praise of Lord Shiva. They light candles and Diyas throughout the night. And on the following morning, they break their fast by having the ‘Prasad’ offered to Lord Shiva.