GUWAHATI: The evening air was thick with incense burning and a soothing scent, along with the sound of chanting of hymns praising Lord Shiva as people celebrated Maha Shivratri on Monday.
Maha Shivaratri is celebrated annually in the honour of Lord Shiva and is held during the Assamese Fagun month, marking the arrival of summer. Mahashivaratri means ‘the Great Night of Shiva’.
This festival depicts the “overcoming of darkness and ignorance” in life and the world. The city of Guwahati observed Maha Shivratri by remembering Shiva and chanting prayers, fasting, and meditating on ethics and virtues such as self-restraint, honesty, non-injury to others, forgiveness, and the discovery of Shiva. Temples like that of Umananda, Shukreshwar, Lanke-shwar, etc were thronged by people since the wee hours, as devotees’ lighted diyas and offered prayers.
Shivlingams were showered with milk as devotees offered bel pat, dhatura flowers, bhang larus, ghutas etc to the great Lord of Destruction. Om chants reverberated in the air and many people were seen fasting. Many ardent devotees kept awake all night.
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