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When is Maha Shivaratri 2018?

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When is Maha Shivaratri 2018?
An Indian Jangam monk at a Maha Shivratri festival (Picture: AFP/Shammi MEHRA/Getty)

It’s a busy time in the calendar for a number of religions right now.

For Christians, for example, Shrove Tuesday and Lent are fast approaching.

For Hindus, the upcoming religious observance is Maha Shivaratri.

It’s a major day in Hinduism, so whether you’ve heard of it or not, find out more about what it means and how people celebrate it.

When is Maha Shivaratri 2018?
Tamil Hindu devotees listen as special prayers honouring Lord Shiva are recited during the Maha Shivaratri Festival (Picture: Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Maha Shivaratri is celebrated at the start of spring, and marks the ‘great night of Shiva’.

Shiva is a Hindu deity known as the ‘destroyer of evil and the transformer’.

Hindu people remembers Shiva overcoming darkness and defeating evil in the world and thanks him for his devotion to doing so.

When is Maha Shivaratri 2018?
A Hindu holy man,prays at the premises of Pashupatinath Temple during the Maha Shivaratri festival in Kathmandu (Picture: Sunil Pradhan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

To mark this, people will recited poems related to Shiva, praying, fasting, doing Yoga, or meditating on self-restraint, honesty, and forgiveness.

Some people will also stay up all night on Maha Shivaratri to practice these rituals.

This celebration is a very solemn and introspective one, rather than some which involve rejoicing on the streets.

The date of Maha Shivaratri changes every year because it’s related to the lunar calendar rather than the solar 356-day one.

In 2018, it will be on Tuesday February 13th.

More: World

The major Jyotirlinga Shiva temples of India, are particularly frequented on Maha Shivaratri. However, it is also celebrated throughout India, Nepal, and in communities worldwide with large Hindu populations.

This is a particularly poignant time for those who practice Shaivism, as they believe Shiva is the ultimate supreme being.

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