Shivaratri Festival- 2024 date and celebration in Nepal

Shivaratri festival

Shivaratri Festival

Nepal is a country of diverse cultures and traditions. As Nepal is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country, it is the home of many ethnic and religious groups. Because of this, we celebrate many festivals throughout the year. All kinds of religions respect each other here; we believe every religion has its beauty and ethnicity. Shivaratri festival is one of the famous Hindu festivals in Nepal.

Kirk Patric Once said, “Nepal is a country where there are more temples than houses, more gods and goddesses than people, and more festivals than days in a year.”

Festivals are the most exciting part of our lives; no matter what religion we follow, we celebrate our festivals together regardless of dispute. Every festival has its history or background. Although the majority of people are Hindus in Nepal, that does not mean other religions are not respected or not essential to us. We celebrate every festival with some energy and excitement. Maha Shivaratri is one of the most important festivals in Nepal.

Shivaratri is not the only celebration in Nepal but in different parts of Asia, including South India. Maha Shivaratri is the festival in which Lord Shiva is worshiped. Lord Shiva is also considered the supreme god of Hindus. On this day, people visit different Shiva temples. There are many Shiva temples in other places in Nepal and the world. During the festival of Maha Shivaratri in Nepal, the Shiva temple worldwide has a big crowd. Devotees worship Lord Shiva for the well-being of their families and the world.

Shivaratri festival

Maha Shivaratri in Nepal

Maha Shivaratri festival is one of the main festivals celebrated in Nepal. The word Maha Shivaratri comprises two Sanskrit words: “s tremendous, and Ratri falls on the 14th day of the dark half of each lunar month, which is believed to be especially sacred to Shiva.

It falls during January and February in English month, which is Math and Falgun according to the Hindu calendar. Maha Shivaratri is celebrated in Nepal and the western part of India. During the night of Shivaratri, the stars in the northern hemisphere are at the most optimum position, which helps to raise a person’s spiritual power. This day is significant for the people as the principle of lord Shiva is believed to be most active during this day.

Pashupatinath temple of Nepal is the biggest Shiva temple in Nepal. Devotees mostly visit Pashupatinath temple during Shivaratri as it is one of the most significant Shiva temples in the world. People sing songs and chant “OM Namah Shivay” and “Mahamritunjaya” during this day.

Sadhus mediates and performs Tandav along with the celebration and worship of Lord Shiva. During the night, people around the country light bonfires. Different Shivaratri programs are hosted around the streets. Children are often dressed as Shiva, and they perform other acts. A holy meal is distributed to everyone during this day. Shivaratri festival is celebrated as a festival of light over darkness.

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    Celebration of Maha Shivaratri in different places

    Pashupatinath temple

    Pashupatinath temple is the biggest temple in Nepal, and Maha Shivaratri is the main festival celebrated in this temple. During this festival, hundreds of devotees come to Pashupatinath temple to worship lord d Shiva, and Sadhu are in the temple. On this day, Pashupatinath temple is decorated with lights everywhere. According to the Pashupatinath Area Development Trust (PADT), on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri, almost 50k people visit Pashupatinath worldwide.

    On this day, the Pashupatinath area Development Trust hires many employees to clean and take care of the Pashupatinath area. Nepal Scouts and many other social committees came together as a helping hand during this festival. They provide water, Prasad, and emergency medical services to the devotees.

    Nepal Scout also ensures everyone follows the safety rules and remains in line. Avery year, the Pahsupati area development trust associated with Nepal Scout and made different plans and policies to manage everything during this day. They make plans to address the crowd and make people easy to worship.

    Tourists mostly love to visit Pashupatinath temple’s vicinity and Sadhu Babas from different places. People also love to click photos of devotees and Sadhu Babas during this day. Sadhu Babas makes the visitors happy by doing other activities like meditating, posing, and telling the story of Lord Shiva. Sadhu Babas are covered with ashes and tikka all over their body. There are four doors to the main temple of Pashupatinath. Since the crowd was very high, four gates were opened per PADT. People are allowed to worship lord Shiva from all four sides. In addition to this, there are many small Shiva linga inside Pashupatinath.

    Kailashnath Mahadev temple

    Mahadev temple is the world’s tallest statue of the Lord Shiva. It is the second biggest Mahadev temple. The devotee also visits this temple during Shivaratri. About 10 thousand visitors come to visit this temple during Maha Shivaratri. It is the tallest temple in the world, and this temple holds a lot of beliefs about lord Shiva. This temple is less crowded than the Pashupatinath temple. During the Maha Shivaratri festival, devotees dance and sing. This temple is also decorated with light all around.

    A bonfire is also lit in the route of this temple. This temple is situated on the border of Bhaktapur and Carves districts. During Shivaratri, there is a different program at this temple. Devotees visit this temple because this temple is located in a very peaceful environment. A resort, spa, yoga center, health club, and meditation center are also opened in the area of this temple.


    Rituals that are performed during Shivaratri

    1. Shivaratri morning

    On the day of the Maha, the Shivaratri festival,  devotees wake up early and take a sunrise bath. They offer water to the sun. Then, they offer prayer to the lord sun, Vishnu, and Shiva. Then, devotees visit the Shiva temple and give customary baths to Shiva linga. Women mainly come to the Shiva mandir, perform traditional Shiva linga puja, and seek blessings from Lord Shiva. Since there will be a crowd at the temple, devotees wait for their turn. While doing puja, devotees circumambulate the Shiva linga three or seven times. After that, the devotee pours milk or water on the Shiva linga.

    1. Ritual bath of Shiva linga

    According to Shiva Puran, devotees must offer Shiva linga unique baths with milk, yogurt, honey, sandalwood paste, and rose petals. While bathing, Shiva linga devotee will have to chant “OM Namah Shivay.” After that, devotees must take some particular and rare leaves from the forest. Some of the essential levees you will need to have for Shiva puja are Agela and Marmelos, also known as Bilwa or wood apple. After that, the devotee decorates Shiva linga with flowers and garlands. Other ingredients needed for Shiva puja are mentioned below:-

    Bael leaves – Bael leaves are required for Shiva puja as it is believed that offering Bael leaves is a process of soul purification.

    Vermilion paste – Vermilion paste is commonly known as Sindoor. One of the significances of Shivaratri is that this is the day of the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parfait. So Sindoor is offered to Lord Shiva.

    Food items – food items are offered to almost all Hindu gods. So, people provide food items to Lord Shiva to ensure that the lord fulfills all the desires of the devotee.

    Incense and Lamp – during worshipping lord Shiva, devotees offer Dhoop and Diya to the lord. Lighting Dhoop and Diya are believed to be conducive to attaining knowledge.

    1. Night worship of Lord Shiva

    As the Shivaratri festival means the night of Lord Shiva, devotees worship Lord Shiva during the day and night. Devotees stay all night singing and worshipping Shiva linga. All devotees gather at Shiva Mandir at night to sing and dance. People spend the entire night listening to the story of Lord Shiva. The priest does the main puja that night with all the rituals and all the ingredients. The devotee will break their fast at night by eating the Prasad from the mandir.

    Maha Shivaratri in Nepal

    Why is the Shivaratri festival Celebrating?

    There is always a story or significance behind celebrating every festival. According to Shiva Purine, there was a big fight between two Hindu gods, Brahma and Vishnu. They fought over who was superior among them. They both were using power to show their superiority. The situation got intense, and other gods got afraid of it. They asked lord shiv to intervene. Lord Shiva came, and he got a plan to end the fight. Lord Shiva formed a massive column of fire between Brahma and Vishnu.

    After that, he asked both of them to find a pinnacle or the end of the fire. Brahma started searching by going upward, and Vishnu, on the other hand, began searching for the back on the ground. While searching, Brahma came across a Ketaki flower flying down slowly.

    When Brahma asked Ketaki, she replied she was placed at the top of the column as an offering but could not find the end. After that, Brahma took the Ketaki flower and went to Shiva. When Shiva heard this, he revealed his proper form and got very angry.

    Then Shiva punished Brahma as he was lying and crushed him so that no one would ever worship him. He also banned Ketaki as she falsely testified to Brahma. This was the day when Lord Shiva turned himself into the form of linga. In his anger, he also performed Tandav. So Shiva linga is worship on Shiva retry. So Shivaratri is a festival and an inconceivably vast definition of the universe.

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      Some Interesting facts about Shivaratri

      1. According to some beliefs, the Shivaratri festival is celebrated because Lord Shiva saves the world from poison on this day. To keep the world from poison, Lord Shiva drank the poison and stored it in his throat; because of the poison, his throat turned blue, which is why Shiva is also known as Neelkatha.

      2. Another belief about Shiva Ratri is that it was the night Lord Shiva and Parfait married. Because of this, many people tend to get married in Maha Shivaratri. I wish to have a beautiful relationship like Shiva and Parfait.

      3. As Shiva Ratri is one of the main festivals of Hindus, this festival is celebrated during daytime and nighttime. A devotee who takes fast on this day observes by doing diagrams at night. People also light bonfires in different places.

      4. According to Hindu Puran, there are 12 Shivaratri in a year, and Maha Shivaratri is considered the most promising.

      5. Maha Shivaratri is considered one of the holy days when people can get over their sins.

      Maha Shivaratri festival 2024/2025

      Shivaratri festival is considered one of the main festivals of Hindu people. Shivaratri festival falls during Falgun 27 according to the Nepal calendar and the English calendar on the 11th of March 2024. We all have been suffering from the global coronavirus pandemic since the start of 2020. We must be safe and take preventive measures while celebrating the festival. Some of us are still in lockdown. During this pandemic, we must be careful while celebrating the festival.

      We will have to celebrate Maha Shivaratri indoors during the pandemic. Devoteee goes to the temple to worship Shiva ling,  but due to this pandemic, we must be safe and celebrate the festival from our house. Homevotee can take as fast as usual, but be careful while going there.

      As the government has said to wear a mask while going out, devotees will also have to wear masks during Shiva puja or going to the temple. Thus, Shivaratri is one of those festivals that define the belief and importance of the Hindu religion. A devotee can have mental peace and calmness as all the anger and negative energy is reduced to a low level. The devotee will go into deep prayer, awakening the healing, intuition, and telepathy.

      Happy Shivaratri festival 2024!!!!

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