Written by Keshala Dias
24 Feb, 2017 | 12:25 pm
Maha Shivratri is a Hindu festival celebrated annually in reverence of the God Shiva. It is the day Shiva was married to Goddess Parvati.
The Maha Shivaratri festival, also popularly known as ‘Shivratri’ or ‘Great Night of Shiva’, marks the convergence of Shiva and Shakti.
Maha Shivratri is celebrated on the 14th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Maagha from the Hindu lunar calendar, one night and day before the new moon.
The festival is principally celebrated by offerings of Bael leaves to Shiva, all-day fasting and an all-night vigil.
Devotees of Lord Shiva, and Hindus in general, on the day of Maha Shivratri observe fast, only drinking milk and eating fruits, they perform the elaborate Pooja, or ritual of worship to Lord Shiva with chants and hymns dedicated to him.
It is a day and night to feel blessed by Lord Shiva in so many ways, and to find ways to express gratitude for what Lord Shiva has done and blessed men with during their lives. Long periods of meditation are observed during this festival as mantras are repeated by the worshipers to help the meditation.
Issuing a communique, President Maithripala Sirisena has extended his wishes for Maha Shivaratri Day stating that the prime expectation and the noble vision of all religions is to promote spiritual and moral well-being of humankind.
”I wish all Hindu devotees who celebrate the ‘Maha Shivaratri Day,’ expressing their gratitude to Lord Shiva by fasting and keeping a night-long vigil at temples,may achieve their aspirations.”, said President Sirisena.
Meanwhile, issuing a communique, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also wished all Hindus a blessed Maha Shivaratri.
”As a much-revered occasion that highlights the values of spiritual enlightenment and culture, the Maha Shivaratri Day is deeply symbolic of co-existence and harmony among all and is also an ideal time for reflection”, said Prime Minister Wickremesinghe.
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