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Om Namah Shivaya!

Maha Shivaratri (also Shivratri) is celebrated on February 27, 2014, by Hindus all over the world. This festival glorifies the Hindu god Shiva, the lord of cosmic destruction and dance. The festival is celebrated on the 14th night of the new moon during the Hindu lunar month of Phalguna.

The celebration of Maha Shivaratri begins with a night vigil leading up to the day of the festival during which many Shiva devotees fast and offer special prayers. Shiva is worshiped in the form of a lingam, a vertical, rounded column, representing the male creative force and the infinite, indescribable nature of God, and the yoni which represents female creative energy. Together they represents the totality of creation. Together it represents the union of organs, and the totality of creation.

The celebration of Maha Shivaratri is attributed to several tales in Hindu mythology. One of the most popular tales traces its origins to samudra manthan, or churning of the ocean of milk. According to this belief, when the gods and demons were churning the ocean of milk to obtain amrita (drink of immortality), they came across many unusual substances including a deadly poison. Terrified, the gods approached Shiva for help, and out of compassion for all living beings, Shiva swallowed the poison. The poison was so potent that it turned his neck to blue.

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