Mahashivaratri celebrated across the state of Assam and other parts of the country on Friday. Devotees thronged to Shiva temple to seek blessings from Bholenath. Devotees are also seen queuing up since morning at Sukreswar temple, Umananda temple, Shiva Doul in Sivasagar and other parts of the state.
Shivaratri is observed by Hindus on the 14th day of every lunar month or the day before the new moon. Hence Shivaratri is celebrated throughout the year but the Maha Shivaratri, which falls in the month of Fagun in the Assamese calendar (February-March), is of great religious importance.
This year, Maha Shivaratri has been celebrated on February 21 across India. Shiva, the god of destruction, is worshipped on this day.
People keep fasts, stay up all night to chant devotional songs. Known to be one of the most easy-to-please gods, Shiva is believed to be happy with devotees if they offer him wood apple leaves, cold water and milk with utmost devotion.
The temples of Lord Shiva across the nation are decorated on this day and is visited by many disciples.
Mahashivaratri is celebrated as Shiva is part of holy trinity in Hindu mythology, along with Brahma and Vishnu, and is also called Maha Ishwar (Great God). On Maha Shivaratri, it is believed that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married. The wedding is celebrated on the midnight of Shivaratri.
Many married women observe fast for the entire day, praying for the longevity of their husbands.
According to popular belief, anyone who utters the name of Shiva during this period with purity gets liberated from the cycle of birth and death and achieves moksha (enlightenment).
In the Sivasagar district of Assam, Mahashivaratri is celebrated with a four-day long programme from February 20 to February 23. The Shiva Doul, the famous temple of Lord Shiva has been decorated and many religious functions have been organized on the occasion of Shivaratri.