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PHOTOS: Country celebrates Maha Shivaratri

February 24, 2017 18:25 IST

IMAGE: Children dressed up as Lord Shiva during a fancy dress contest at a school in Bhopal. Photograph: PTI Photo

The festival of Maha Shivaratri was celebrated across the country on Friday.

IMAGE: Devotees offer prayers to Lord Shiva on Maha Shivaratri at a temple in Bengaluru. Photograph: Shailendra Bhojak/PTI Photo

There is a shivaratri in every luni-solar month of the Hindu calendar, on the month’s 13th night and 14th day, but once a year in late February or March, or Phalguna and before the arrival of spring there comes a Maha Shivaratri.

IMAGE: Devotees take part in Shiv Barat procession in Varanasi. Photograph: PTI Photo

It is believed that Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati on this day.

IMAGE: Women queued-up to pay obeisance at a Shiv Temple in Amritsar. Photograph: PTI Photo

It is observed by fasting, doing Yoga and meditation.

IMAGE: People perform abhishek of Lord Shiva at Babulnath temple in Mumbai. Photograph: Sahil Salvi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the nation on the holy occasion.

IMAGE: Devotees pay obeisance to Lord Shiva at a temple in Guwahati.

Taking to Twitter, the prime minister said, ‘Heartfelt greetings and best wishes on the occasion of Maha Shivratri.’

IMAGE: People perform abhishek of Lord Shiva at a temple in Beawar, Rajasthan. Photograph: PTI Photo

The PM will be unveiling a 112-foot-tall statue dedicated to ‘Adiyogi’ (a form of Lord Shiva who, according to the Hindu tradition, is considered the first of yogis) in Coimbatore.