Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, is celebrated at the end of Ashwin month with its festivities continuing till the beginning of Kartika month, based on the auspicious Hindu calendar and is one of the most widely celebrated religious occasions across the world. On the day of Diwali, people gets up early in the morning and pay tribute to their ancestors and worship family gods. Being Amavasya day, people also perform Shradh for their ancestors. Traditionally, most Puja are performed after keeping a day long fast. Hence, the devotees of Goddess Lakshmi observe a day long fast on the day of Lakshmi Puja. The fast is broken after Lakshmi Puja in the evening.
Unlike most Indian festivals, the vivacious festival of Diwali is revelry continues for five days while some part of South India celebrates Diwali as a one day festival. The first day of Diwali festivities is known as Dhanteras, on which most of the business communities in India begin their financial year. Naraka Chaturdasi marks the second day of festivities and the third day is celebrated Diwali, also known as Deepawali or Deepavali which involves the worship of Goddess Laksmi and Lord Ganesha. On the fourth day, Govardhan Puja is performed, whereas the final day is known as Bhai Dooj and celebrates the love between a brother and sister.
The most popular tradition behind Diwali dictates that it marks the day on which the Hindu deity Lord Ram returned to his home city of Ayodhya after vanquishing the demon king Ravana. According to mythology, lights were lit all across the country to celebrate his return to rule. It is widely believed that Diwali is the day on which the Hindu goddess of prosperity, Lakshmi supposedly roams the Earth and blesses people with wealth and happiness. Another belief for Jainism, India’s sixth largest religion, is that this is the day on which the last of the 24 Thirthankaras (Great Teachers), Lord Mahavira attained ‘Nirvana’. Sikhs celebrate Diwali as the occasion on which their teacher Guru Hargobind Ji was released from the captivity of Mughal ruler Jahangir in Gwalior along with several Hindu kings.
Many communities especially Gujarati businessmen do Chopda Pujan during Diwali Puja. During Chopda Puja new account books are inaugurated in presence of Goddess Lakshmi to seek Her blessing for the next financial year. Diwali Puja is also known as Deepavali Puja and Lakshmi Ganesh Pujan.
The fourteenth (Chaturdashi) day of the dark fortnight of Ashwin, when Shri krishna returned home at dawn, after slaying Narkasur, is known as ‘Narak Chaturdashi‘ or ‘Kali Puja‘. Five days Diwali festivity starts on Dhantrayodashi and lasts on Bhaiya Dooj day. Abhyang Snan has been suggested on three days i.e. on Chaturdashi, Amavasya and Pratipada days during Diwali.
According to Hindu legend, this day commemorates the victory of Goddess Kali, Goddess Satyabhama and Shri Krishna over Narakasura the demon-king. Narakasura ruled the kingdom of Pradyoshapuram. Puranas have it that Naraka, son of Bhudevi, acquired immense power from a blessing given by Lord Brahma after a severe penance. Narakasura was a demon-king who had imprisoned 16,000 women which included the daughters of the Gods. He had also defeated the king of the Gods, Lord Indra and stolen the earrings from Aditi, the mother of the Gods. Goddess Kali, Goddess Satyabhama and Lord Krishna thus fought the battle with the demon and defeated him with Krishna’s Sudarshana Chakra and Lord Krishna smeared his forehead with Naraka’s blood.
Narak Chaturdashi is celebrated in a special way in Goa, where paper-made effigies stuffed with grass and firecrackers are burst at four in the morning. Men take scented oil baths, while the women perform aarti for them. A bitter berry called the Kareeta is crushed under the feet which symbolises the killing of Narakasura, and the removal of evil and ignorance.
A thorough Pre-Diwali cleaning is done throughout the house to welcome Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. The literal meaning of ‘Kali Chaudas’ is dark and fourteenth, the day when Kali Puja or Shakti Puja is done. Kali Puja is usually celebrated in the eastern part of the country, where people pray for protection against spiritual, emotional and physical adversities. Gifts are exchanged and the atmosphere is filled with a mood of celebration and festivity. Different kinds of poha and sweets are prepared, offered to the God and enjoyed with family and friends.Diwali is usually celebrated on Narak Chaturdashi in south India, while others celebrate it on new moon night.
Abhyang Snan on Chaturdashi day, which is popularly known as Narak Chaturdashi, is the most significant one. It is believed that people, who do Abhyang Snan on this day, can avoid going to Narak. Narak Chaturdashi day is also known as Choti Diwali, Roop Chaturdashi and Roop Chaudas.
Most of the time Govardhan Puja day falls next day after Diwali Puja in the month of Kartik and it is celebrated as the day when Lord Krishna defeated God Indra. Sometimes there might be one day gap between Diwali and Govardhan Puja. Gowardhan Puja is also known as Annakut Puja. On this day food made of cereals like wheat, rice, curry made of gram flour and leafy vegetables is cooked and offered to Lord Krishna.
The most popular legend that allude to the origin of Govardhan Puja, states that Govardhan was a small hillock that was located near Mathura at a place called Braj. According to the Vishnu Puraan, It was a common practice in Gokul to do Indra Puja year on year to please Indra who was believed to be the god of rains but Lord Krishna had to change such type of opinions of the people of Gokul. Lord Krishna told the people that it wasn’t Indra but Govardhan Parvat or Annakut hill that brought the rains and therefore the latter should be worshipped and prayed to. Govardhan Parbat (Govardhan hill) is the real God who is nurturing and saving your lives from drastic conditions by giving you food and shelter. When the people followed this ordinance, Lord Indira’s wrath on the people resulted in heavy rains. Lord Krishna then saved the people of Gokul by first praying to Govardhan Parvat and then lifting it on his little finger under which the people took shelter from the rains.
The main aspect of the puja is to install the Govardhan hill. For this, people make the image of Govardhan hill either in cow dung or mud. People also use some crafty fixtures and art work to simulate the eyes, lips and face of Lord Krishna on the Govardhan image. Fixing a peacock feather on it is the highlight. The other items used for the puja include two sugarcane sticks, fresh milk, yoghurt, batasha, peda and ladoos in addition to roll and chawal. Devotee uses a few earthen lamps, oil, wicks and gives Dakshina.
In Maharashtra the same day is celebrated as Bali Pratipada or Bali Padva. The day commemorates victory of Vamana, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, over King Bali and subsequent pushing of Bali to Patal Lok (the underworld). It is believed that due to boon given by Lord Vamana, Asura King Bali visits the Prithvi Lok from the Patala Lok on this day. It is also marks the day King Vikramaditya was coroneted and is known as the Vikram Samvat.
The fifth or the last day of Diwali‘s five day long celebration is Bhaiya Dooj, popularly known as Bhai Duj. It falls on the second day after the new moon in the month of Kartik. On Bhaiya Dooj, sisters pray for their brothers to have long and happy lives by performing Tika ceremony and brothers offer gifts to their sisters. Bhaiya Dooj is also known as Bhau Beej and Bhathru Dwithiya. It is also celebrated as “Yama Dwitiya” in the southern parts of India.
There are few Hindu mythological based stories related to the origin of this auspicious day. A legend revolves around the story of Yama, the God of Death and his sister Yamuna. Long long ago, Surya, the sun God, was married to a beautiful princess called Sanjna (also pronounced as Sangya) and they got twins. The twins were christened Yama, and Varni or Yamuna. After some time, Sanjna was unable to bear the brilliance of her husband and decided to go back to earth by leaving her shadow, Chaya (exact replica) behind so that it would appear to Surya that she was still there. Chaya turned out to be a cruel stepmother and was very unkind to the twins. She soon gave birth to her own children and convinced Surya to drive out Yama and Varni from the heavens. Varni fell to earth and became the river Yamuna, and Yama went to the underworld (hell) and became the Lord of Death. When many years passed, Varni married a handsome prince and was happy in her life but she missed her brother. Yama, too, missed his sister and decided one day to visit her. One day when Yama decided to visit her, overjoyed Varni prepared a great feast in his honor. Yama, too, was delighted by his sister’s loving welcome and they spent a pleasant evening in each other’s company, after their long period of separation. When it was time for Yama to leave, he requested his sister to ask for something but she denied. But after Yama’s insist, she asked that all brothers should remember their sisters on this day and should visit them if they could, and all sisters should pray for the happiness of their brothers. Yama proclaimed that it would be and he would grant a long and healthy life to all brothers who wwould give their sisters a loving gift on that day!
According to the another legend, Lord Krishna visited his sister, Subhadra after killing demon Narkasur. Her sister gave a warm welcome to him and made the occasion really special through flowers and sweets. Subhadra also applied the ceremonial “tilak” on the forehead of her brother, Krishna on this auspicious day of “Bhai Dooj”.
Traditionally, Bhai dooj is applicable for brothers of married women. Apart from strengthening the bond, it gives the chance for the brother to visit and check on the conditions of his sister at her husband’s place.
Chhath puja is a festival dedicated to the Sun God, Surya and Chhathi Maiya, Usha (wife of Surya). It is celebrated on the sixth day of the month of Kartik (October-November) after Diwali. Rituals span over four days and devotees go without food and water. Chhath is mainly characterized by riverside rituals in which Sun God or Surya is worshiped, giving it the name of ‘Suryasasthi‘. Chhath Puja is also known as Surya Shashti, Chhathi and Dala Chhath. The Sun God, Surya, the god of energy and of the life-force, is worshiped during the Chhath Puja to promote well-being, prosperity and progress. The festival is native to Bihar, Jharkhand and eastern Uttar Pradesh and is also celebrated in Nepal.
The epic Ramayana refers that the festival being celebrated by Sita after Lord Ram’s return to Ayodhya and epic Mahabharta refers for Draupadi also. It has also Vedic roots in which Goddesses Usha is mentioned and hence, several mantras are dedicated to her. It is also folk belief that puja was firstly started by Surya Putra Karn.
The first day is known as ‘Nahay khay’ or ‘Arwa Arwain’ when devotees take a dip in a river or a pond in the morning and purifies the surroundings of house with Ganga Jal or same water. Devotees have only one meal on this day i.e. Kaddu-bhat. Kaddu-bhat is cooked in the bronze or soil utensils by using mango wood fire over soil stove.
Second day is known as ‘Lohanda and Kharna’, when women observe fast for the whole day, breaking it only after worship of the sun God with Rasiao-kheer, puris and fruits at the time of sunset. After breaking fast, there begins a 36-hour long fast again, during which they are not even allowed a sip of water.
Third Day of Chhath Puja is known as ‘Sanjhiya Arghya’. The devotees offer Sanjhiya Arghya at the riverside (bank of river) and after that they wore turmeric colour saree. In the night, the devotee celebrates the vibrant event of filling Kosi, known as Kosia Bharai, by lighting clay diyas under the five sugarcane stick with folk song of Chhathi Maiya. This sugarcane stick represents the Panchatattva i.e. Earth, Air, water, fire and Space.
On the fourth and final day of Chhath Puja, devotees along with family and friends gather around the same river or pond and offer ‘Usha arghya’ (morning offerings), also known as Bihaniya Aragh, to the rising sun God. It is only after this puja that the worshippers break their fast with Chhath Puja Prasad.
Guru Nanak (1469-1539 C.E.) was the founder of the Sikhism and the first of the 10 Sikh Gurus. His birth is celebrated worldwide as Guru Nanak Dev Jayanti or Gurpurab on the day of Kartik Purnima as per Hindu lunar calendar, which falls during the months of October-November in Gregorian calendar.
Sikh traditions teach that his birth and early years were marked with many events that demonstrated that God had marked him out for something special and was keeping an eye on him. Guru Nanak Sahib, the founder of Sikhism, was born on 15th April, 1469 at Rai-Bhoi-di Talwandi in the present district of Shekhupura (Pakistan), now Nanakana Sahib. Nanak Dev travelled extensively to spread the message and teaching of God. He believed that there is an almighty who dwells in every one of his creations and constitutes the eternal truth. As a young boy of five, he voiced interest in divine subjects. Later, on joining school at the age of seven, he is believed to have astonished his teachers by describing the first letter of alphabet, ‘A’ and the mathematical version ‘1’, as denoting the unity and oneness of God. Later, he learnt Hindi, Sanskrit and Persian. He married at the age of 19 and had two sons. Due to his lack of interest in worldly affairs, he soon drifted towards the spiritual world and at the age of 30 he visited various holy places to gain knowledge.
The words and teachings of the saint are registered in the form of 974 hymns in the holy texts of the Guru Granth Sahib and according to the beliefs of the Sikh religion, it is believed that the spirit of Nanak Dev descended upon each of the nine subsequent Gurus. Sikhs from all over the world gather here and celebrate the Gurupurab every year with great devotion and enthusiasm.
Christmas is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ and a widely observed cultural holiday, celebrated generally on December 25 by billions of people around the world. Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. For two millennia, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive.
St. Nicholas was a Bishop who lived in the fourth century in a place called Myra in Asia Minor (now called Turkey). He was a very rich man because his parents died when he was young and left him a lot of money. He was also a very kind man and had a reputation for helping the poor and giving secret gifts to people who needed it. Because of his kindness Nicholas was made a Saint. St. Nicholas was exiled from Myra and later put in prison during the persecution by the Emperor Diocletian. No one is really knows when he died, but it was on 6th December in either 345 or 352. In 1087, his bones were stolen from Turkey by some Italian merchant sailors. The bones are now kept in the Church named after him in the Italian port of Bari.
In the 16th Century in northern Europe, after the reformation, the stories and traditions about St. Nicholas became unpopular. But someone had to deliver presents to children at Christmas, so in the UK, particularly in England, he became ‘Father Christmas‘ or ‘Old Man Christmas‘, an old character from stories plays during the middle ages in the UK and parts of northern Europe. In France, he was then known as ‘Père Nöel‘. In some countries including parts of Austria and Germany, present giver became the ‘Christkind‘ a golden-haired baby, with wings, who symbolizes the new born baby Jesus. In the early USA his name was ‘Kris Kringle‘ (from the Christkind). Later, Dutch settlers in the USA took the old stories of St. Nicholas with them and Kris Kringle and St Nicholas became ‘Sinterklaas‘ or as we now say ‘Santa Claus‘!
In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday. Unfortunately, the Bible does not mention date for his birth (a fact Puritans later pointed out in order to deny the legitimacy of the celebration). Although some evidence suggests that his birth may have occurred in the spring (why would shepherds be herding in the middle of winter?), Pope Julius I chose December 25. It is commonly believed that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival. First called the Feast of the Nativity, the custom spread to Egypt by 432 and to England by the end of the sixth century. By the end of the eighth century, the celebration of Christmas had spread all the way to Scandinavia. Today, in the Greek and Russian orthodox churches, Christmas is celebrated 13 days after the 25th, which is also referred to as the Epiphany or Three Kings Day. This is the day it is believed that the three wise men finally found Jesus in the manger. By holding Christmas at the same time as traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders increased the chances that Christmas would be popularly embraced, but gave up the ability to dictate how it was celebrated.
In the early 17th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and, as part of their effort, cancelled Christmas. By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and, with him, came the return of the popular holiday. After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870. Today, in the Greek and Russian orthodox churches, Christmas is celebrated 13 days after the 25th, which is also referred to as the Epiphany or Three Kings Day. This is the day it is believed that the three wise men finally found Jesus in the manger.
India commemorates the day of 26th January as Republic Day when Constitution of India came into force in 1950. It is the same day when Declaration of Independence was promulgated by the Indian National Congress and this day were chosen to honor that event. This day celebrates the anniversary of the Constitution of India and the transition of India from a British Dominion to a republic on 26th January, 1950. After getting freedom from the British rule on 15th August 1947, India was headed by King George VI till the constitution of India came into force on 26th January 1950. On this day India is declared as a democratic republic nation. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected as the first president of India.
It is one of the three national holidays of India, including Independence Day and Gandhi Jayanti. Being a gazetted holiday all government offices and most businesses are closed on Republic Day.
Republic Day is celebrated with a great pride and enthusiasm throughout India. The main parade takes place in the national capital New Delhi, at the Rajpath before the president who unfurls the national flag. The parade starts from the Raisina Hill near the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President’s Palace), along the Rajpath, India Gate and on to the Red Fort. The different regiments of the Army, the Air Force and the Navy participate in the parade with all their finery and official decorations. The President of India, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces, takes the salute and addresses the nation. Celebrations are also held in state capitals where the Governor of the state unfurls the national flag.
Vasant Panchami, also spelled Basant Panchami, is a Hindu spring festival. It is observed on the fifth day of the Indian traditional calendar month of Magha, which typically falls in the Gregorian months of January or February. This day is dedicated to Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge, music, arts, science and technology. Goddess Saraswati is worshipped on Vasant Panchami. Vasant Panchami is also known as Shri Panchami and Saraswati Panchami.
People worship Goddess Saraswati to get enlighten with knowledge and to get rid of lethargy, sluggishness and ignorance. This ritual of initiating education to children is known as “Akshar-Abhyasamor Vidya-Arambham/Praasana” which is one of the famous rituals of Vasant Panchami. Schools and colleges arrange pujas in the morning to seek blessing of the Goddess.
Purvahna Kala, which is the time between the sunrise and the midday, is considered to decide Vasant Panchami day. Vasant Panchami is celebrated on the day when Panchami Tithi prevails during Purvahna Kala. Due to which Vasant Panchami might also fall on Chaturthi Tithi. Many astrologers consider Vasant Panchami as Abujha (अबूझ) day which is auspicious to start all good work. According to this belief whole Vasant Panchami day is auspicious to perform Saraswati Puja.
The colour yellow has a great significance in the celebration of Vasant Panchami. It is believed to be the symbol of blossoming flowers of mustard. Yellow attire is therefore worn by the followers of Saraswati. Moreover, the sweets and dishes prepared for the festival are usually yellow and saffron in color.
Another legend behind Vasant Panchami is based on the Hindu god of love called Kama. It is remembered as the day when Parvati approached Kama to wake up Shiva in Yogic meditation since the Maha Shivaratri. The other gods support Parvati, and seek Kama’s help to bring Shiva back from his meditation to do his duties in the world. Kama agrees and shoots arrows, made of flowers and bees, at Shiva from his heavenly bow of sugarcane in order to arouse him to pay attention to Parvati. This initiative is celebrated by Hindus as Vasant Panchami.
Guru Ravidas (1377-1527 C.E.) was a famous saint of the Bhakti Movement. His devotional songs and verses made a lasting impact upon the Bhakti Movement. Guru Ravidas is also known as Raidas, Rohidas and Ruhidas.
According to historians Guru Ravidas was born during 1377 C.E. at Mandhuadhe in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. There is controversy on the exact birth date of Ravidas. According to some scholars it was year 1399 when Guru Ravidas was born. As per Hindu calendar Guru Ravidas was born on Magha Purnima. Hence his birth anniversary is celebrated on Magha Purnima as per Hindu lunar calendar.
His belief in one God and his unbiased religious poems won him numerous followers. In fact, around 41 of his poems were included in the religious text of the Sikhs, “Adi Granth” or “Guru Granth Sahib”. Those poems were compiled by the fifth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Arjan Dev. The Sant was a thinker, a socio-cultural reformer, a traveller, a spiritual figure, and, most important, a humanist who dedicated his whole life to the banishment of a treacherous caste-system. He openly denounced the notion of a Brahminical society (where Brahmins are perceived as supreme beings) and even established Begumpura, a state sans any hierarchical system of caste or creed. Guru Ravidas said, “If God actually resides in every human being, then it’s quite futile to segregate persons on the basis of caste, creed and other such hierarchical social orders.” He opposed the myth that caste plays a very important role in establishing a relation with God. He was of the belief that God is omnipresent, and anyone with a clear conscience and “bhakti” can reach God through simple prayers.
Widely known as Raidas, Guru Ravidas was an eminent figure in the Bhakti Movement which started in North India around the 15th century. His birthplace is now known as Shri Guru Ravidas Janam Asthan and it is a major place of pilgrimage for the followers of Guru Ravidas.
Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati was the legendary catalyst who changed the tide of times. He is heralded as the grandfather of Indian Freedom Movement giving birth to the concept of ‘Swadesh‘. His call for ‘Back to the Vedas’ in late nineteenth century ushered in a widespread social and moral transformation worldwide which continues till today.
Tankara, a town in Saurashtra of the present Gujarat State, There lived a wealthy brahmin, Karshanji Laiji Tiwari by name; he was also the tahsildar of Tankara. His wife, Amrith bai, was a beautiful and virtuous woman. She was like a mother to all the villagers. In 1824, a son was born to the couple. They named. him Moolashankar. According to the custom of the place, he was also called Dayaram. This child was to become famous as Maharshi Dayananda. When he attained the age of five, Moolashankar’s education started. At the age of eight, his Upanayana Samskara (being invested with the holy thread) was performed. The boy used to perform religious rites like ‘Sandhyavan dana’ with devotion. He had a very good memory. By the time he was fourteen he had learnt by heart the Yajurveda, the scriptures and the upanishads.
Maharshi Dayananda Saraswati authored more than 70 works in all, including a 14 volume explanation of the six Vedangas, 9 volumes of Rigveda Bhasya and 4 volumes of Yajurved Bhasya. His most important and referred works are Satyarth Prakash, Sanskarvidhi, Rigvedadi Bhashya Bhumika, Rigved Bhashyam (up to 7/61/2) and Yajurved Bhashyam.
Maharshi completed his vedic studies under Swami Virjanand in 1864. Thereafter, he travelled across India till 1874 AD for Vedic propagation and learning. Maharshi’s first major authorship was Panchmahayajya Vidhi in 1874 AD. The Paropkarini Sabha located in the Indian city of Ajmer was founded by the Swami himself to publish and preach his works and Vedic texts in 1882.
Maharshi passed away in 1883; at that time his Rig Veda Bhasyam was only more than half way. But within his short span of 10 years of work, he created a vast, deep and research based literature on the Vedic lore.
Shivaratri is great festival of convergence of Shiva and Shakti. Chaturdashi Tithi during Krishna Paksha in month of Magha is known as Maha Shivaratri according to South Indian calendar. However according to North Indian calendar Masik Shivaratri in month of Phalguna is known as Maha Shivaratri. In both calendars it is naming convention of lunar month which differs. However both, North Indians and South Indians, celebrate Maha Shivaratri on same day.
According to one story from Puranas, during the samudra manthan, a pot of poison emerged from the ocean. This terrified the Gods and demons as the poison was capable of destroying the entire world, and they ran to Shiva for help. To protect the world from its evil effects, Shiva drank the deathly poison but held it in his throat instead of swallowing it. This made his throat turn blue, and he was given the name Neelakantha, the blue-throated one. Shivaratri is the celebration of this event by which Shiva saved the world.
According to another legend in the Shiva Purana, once the other two of the triads of Hindu Gods, Brahma and Vishnu, were fighting over who was the superior of the two. Horrified at the intensity of the battle, the other gods asked Shiva to intervene. To make them realize the futility of their fight, Shiva assumed the form of a huge column of fire in between Brahma and Vishnu. Awestruck by its magnitude, they decided to find one end each to establish supremacy over the other. Brahma assumed the form of a swan and went upwards and Vishnu as Varaha went into the earth. But light has no limit and though they searched for thousands of miles, neither could find the end. On his journey upwards, Brahma came across a Ketaki flower wafting down slowly. When asked where she had come from, the Ketaki replied that she had been placed at the top of the fiery column as an offering. Unable to find the uppermost limit, Brahma decided to end his search and take the flower as a witness. At this, the angry Shiva revealed his true form. He punished Brahma for telling a lie, and cursed him that no one would ever pray to him. The Ketaki flower too was banned from being used as an offering for any worship, as she had testified falsely. Since it was on the 14th day in the dark half of the month of Phalguna that Shiva first manifested himself in the form of a Linga, the day is especially auspicious and is celebrated as Mahashivaratri. Worshipping Shiva on this day is believed to bestow one with happiness and prosperity.
At Maha Shivratri, People keep fast of whole day and night and all the Shiv temples e.g. Kashi Vishwanath temple gets congregated by the young and old devotees from the very early morning. They come to the temple to perform the puja of traditional Shivalingam and hope to get what they have prayed to the god. They take bath in the holy water of the Ganga (Symbol of the purity) early in the morning before sunrise and wear a clean clothe after the sacred bath.