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Maha Shivaratri which means "the Great Night of Shiva" is a Hindu festival celebrated annually in honour of the god Shiva. It is observed by remembering Shiva and chanting prayers, fasting, doing Yoga and meditating on ethics and virtues such as self-restraint, honesty, noninjury to others, forgiveness and the discovery of Shiva.
It is a major festival in Hinduism, but one that is solemn and marks a remembrance of "overcoming darkness and ignorance" in life and the world.
The story tells us how Lord Shankara got married to Parvati, his divine consort. According to legend of Shankara and Shakti, the day Lord Shankara got married to Parvati is celebrated as Shivaratri - the Night of Lord Shiva.
Locations & Fairs on the occasion of MahaShivrati:
Mandi Fair – It transforms the town of Mandi(Cathedral of Temples) as devotees pour in. It is believed that all gods and goddesses of the area, said to number more than 200, assemble here on the day of Maha Shivaratri. Mandi is one of the oldest towns of Himachal Pradesh, with about 81 temples of different Gods and Goddesses on its periphery.
Kashmir Shaivism – It is celebrated as the anniversary of the marriage of Shiva and Parvati. The festivities start 3 or 4 days before Maha Shivaratri and continue for two days after it.
The Mahakaleshwar Temple, Ujjain – It is one of the most venerated shrines consecrated to Shiva where a large congregation of devotees gathers to offer prayers on the day of Maha Shivaratri.
Pashupatinath Temple Nepal - Thousands of devotees visit the famous Shiva Shakti Peetham. The Nepalese army parades around the city of Kathmandu to pay tribute to Lord Shiva, and holy rituals are performed all over the nation.