21 incredible pictures of Maha Shivaratri

The Maha Shivaratri Festival will be celebrated by Hindus the world over on March 7, and is celebrated annually in reverence of the Hindu God ‘Shiva’. It is said to be the day that Shiva saved the universe by drinking poison and also the day he was married to the Goddess Parvati. Often referred to as Shivaratri, the festival is celebrated by most during the day, while others hold all-night vigils to celebrate the event which falls on a day in the most holy month in the Hindu calendar year.

Here we look at 21 pictures of Nepalese and Indian Hindus offering special prayers and fasting to commemorate the occasion

1. A Nepalese Sadhu (Hindu holy man) looks on during preparations for the Maha Shivaratri festival in Kathmandu on March 7.

Mahashivaratri

2. A man paints coloured paste onto his face during the Maha Shivaratri festival in Kathmandu.

PHOTO: AFP PHOTO: AFP

3. A man ties his hair during preparations for the Maha Shivaratri festival in Kathmandu.

PHOTO : AFP PHOTO : AFP

4. An Indian Hindu devotee offers prayers to a Shiva Lingam, a stone sculpture representing the phallus of Hindu god Lord Shiva, to mark the Maha Shivaratri festival at the Lord Shiva Temple in Hyderabad, India.

nepal-8PHOTO : AFP

5. A man paints coloured paste onto his face during the Maha Shivaratri festival in Kathmandu.

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PHOTO : AFP

6. A Hindu holy man smokes marijuana using a chillum, a traditional clay pipe, as a holy offering for Lord Shiva, near the Pashupatinath Temple during the Maha Shivaratri festival in Kathmandu.

s7PHOTO : AFP

7. Indian Hindu devotees offer prayers to a statue of the Hindu god Lord Shiva to mark the Maha Shivaratri festival.

nepal-10PHOTO : AFP

8. A Hindu holy man smokes marijuana using a chillum, a traditional clay pipe, as a holy offering for Lord Shiva, near the Pashupatinath Temple during the Maha Shivaratri festival in Kathmandu.

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PHOTO : AFP

9. An Indian Hindu devotee offer prayers to a Shiva Lingam, a stone sculpture representing the phallus of Hindu god Lord Shiva.

s10PHOTO : AFP

10. Nepalese visitors take a ‘selfie’ with a Hindu holy man dressed as Lord Shiva.

s11PHOTO : AFP

11. Indian Hindu devotees offer prayers to a statue of the Hindu god Lord Shiva to mark the Maha Shivaratri festival in Hyderabad. 

12PHOTO : AFP

12. A Hindu holy man prepares marijuana before smoking it during the Shivaratri festival on the premises of Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal.

13PHOTO : REUTERS

13.  A Hindu sadhu, ties his hair as he stands outside his ashram during the Shivaratri festival.

14PHOTO : REUTERS

14. A family stands and poses for a photograph at the Maha Shivaratri Festival.

nepal-14PHOTO: REUTERS

15. A Hindu holy man, or sadhu, smeared with ashes holds a chillum as he smokes it during the Shivaratri festival on the premises of Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu.

16PHOTO: REUTERS

16. Hindu holy men, or sadhus, sit beside the fire as they chant religious songs during the Shivaratri festival at the premises of Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal.

17PHOTO : REUTERS

17. A Hindu holy man smears ashes on his face during the Shivaratri festival at the premises of Pashupatinath Temple

18PHOTO : REUTERS

18. A Hindu holy man, or sadhu, smokes marijuana in a chillum during the Shivaratri festival.

19PHOTO : REUTERS

19. Smoke rises as a devotee sit next to a fire during the Shivaratri festival at the premises of Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal.

20PHOTO : REUTERS

20. A Hindu holy man, or sadhu, with a snake wrapped on his neck sits at the premises of Pashupatinath Temple.

21PHOTO : REUTERS

21. A Hindu holy man, or sadhu, smeared with ashes smokes marijuana in a chillum during the Shivaratri festival on the premises of Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal.

22PHOTO : REUTERS

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