February, 13 - Mahashivarathri
Mahashivaratri is an ancient festival dedicated to the god Shiva from the divine Hindu trinity Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva. Mahashivaratri is translated from Sanskrit as "the great night of Shiva": "maha" - "great", "ratri" - "night." It is celebrated in February-March, the night before the new moon of the last winter lunar cycle.
During the celebration of Mahashivaratri, spiritual songs, bhajans, are being sung throughout the night, stories about Shiva are being told, mantras are being chanted, and prayers are being held.
There are many legends connected with the holiday. But Mahashivaratri has special significance for women and ascetics. On this night Indian girls ask Shiva's wife, Parvati, to give them a successful marriage, children, and family well-being. Ascetics also consider Mahashivaratri their holiday, because Shiva is known as the patron of ascetics.
It is believed that Shiva, just as his symbol - a crescent, appears to save the world from the Darkness of Ignorance. Astrologers say that on such a day a combination of planets is favorable for awakening spiritual energies.