Happy Shivaratri 2019

Lord Shiva temple
near Haridwar, India.
Today is officially Shivaratri. As some of you may or may not already be aware, this is a Hindu holiday which falls on the 4th night of the new moon. Krishna Paksha, which means the period of a waning moon or the dark fortnight, Shivaratri is celebrated on what is often referred to as a moonless night. Although there are about twelve Shivaratri celebrations per year, today is the celebration of Maha Shivaratri. 

Shivaratri is a holiday that celebrates the love between Lord Shiva and Goddress Parvati, primarily the anniversary of their marriage. Hindu believers (not all, but most) also believe the anniversary of their wedding day was the first time Lord Shiva performed the Tandava Nritya, a dance which holds major significance in the creation of life, as well as, preservation.

It is tradition for devotees of Lord Shiva to attend the nearest Hindu temple (primarily one of Lord Shiva) and give a ritual bath to the Lingam. The ritual bath consists of several things such as milk and ghee, which are both part of the actual panchagavya. 

Festivities including jagran (or jaag) which is basically embraced heavily in North Indian Hindu culture. Devotees of Lord Shiva stay up all night into the early hours of the morning celebrating this world-renowned deity and what he has done for humanity. This includes vigil songs and dance, as well as, reminiscing through Hinduism. Some Hindus celebrate by practicing yoga or anything that involves honoring Lord Shiva. 

Traditionally, the Om Namah Shivaya mantra is chanted relentlessly throughout the night into the morning. Om is a sacred symbol that represents the earth and the sound she makes. It is also one of my personal favorite symbols. It is believed that those who continue to chant Om Namah Shivaya are recognizing, acknowledging, honoring, and remember Lord Shiva and what he has done for humanity. Those who embrace Shivaratri are recognizing creation of life, the destruction of world, and preservation of humanity. 

Shivaratri is celebrated all over the world, but tends to be the most popular all over India. Although anyone can honor this internationally known Hindu holiday, there are special poojas only in select areas of India. These include the holy town of Srikalahasti located in the Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh, the wonderful east village of Mahanandi located in Andhra Pradesh, the Sri Yaganti Uma Maheswara Temple located in Andhra Pradesh, the East Godavari village of Antarvedipalem in Andhra Pradesh, the Chittoor suburb of Kattamanchi, the west village of Pattiseema located in Andhra Pradesh, the holy place of Bhairavakona which is also located in Andhra Pradesh, the neighborhood city of Hanmakonda located in Telangana, the Keesaragutta Temple located in Hyderabad, the small town of Vemulawada located in Telangana, the historic town of Panagallu located in Telangana, the Umamaheshwaram Temple located in Hyderabad, the Penchalakona village located in Andhra Pradesh, and the Kulpakji Temple located in Telangana. 

Although I have always identified as Christian, what you may or may not know about me is that I have been a Hindu also for almost a year now hence why I am mentioning this celebration on my blog. As a woman who has happiness and joy in Hinduism, this festival holds significant value to me, as I will spend my day embracing Parvati and praying for a long and prosperous love life.

If you do not believe in Hinduism, at least consider this religion as a form of sub-faith. If you are an enthusiast of spiritualism, you will enjoy Hinduism for its richness and seniority in the theological world of tradition, as I know I do.

With that said, Happy Shivaratri.