Shiva Ratri literally means 'the night consecrated to Shiva'. is a Hindu festival celebrated every year in reverence of Lord Shiva. The Mahashivratri festival, also much popular as 'Shivratri'.Maha Shivratri is celebrated on the Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi of Hindu calendar month. Which this year it is celebrated in Faguln 15th.
In Nepal, millions of Hindus attend Shivaratri together from different part of the world at the famous Pashupatinath Temple. Thousands of devotees also attend Mahasivaratri at the famous Shiva Shakti Peetham of Nepal.
The Puran, one of the many holy texts of the Hindus, tells us that if you worship Lord Shiva on this day all your sins will be forgiven. Giving an examle the puran talks about an event that occurred ages before about a hunter from Benares. This man worshipped Lord Shiva unknowingly on Shiva Ratri and he was forgiven for all his sins.All these legends signify that this day is the favourite day of Lord Shiva and also throw light on the greatness of Lord Shiva and his supremacy over all other Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Mahashivaratri also marks the night when Lord Shiva performed the 'Tandav', the cosmic dance.
Shiva Ratri is a much anticipated festival by all Hindus. Pilgrims and yogis (holy men), from all over Southeast Asia come to Kathmandu weeks before the festival. On this holy day people fast through out the day. At dawn, worshipers take a holy bath or dip in the river and go to the temple to worship.
Marijuana is taken as prasad, holy food blessed by the Gods and one can see eager tourists and faithful Nepalese flocking around the temple complex of the Ram Janaki Mandir across the Bagmati river opposite to the main temple complex of Pashupatinath lingering around sadhus and babas in the hope for some prasad from them.They take these in the belief that it pleases Lord Shiva for he too is said to be fond of it.