▪ Hindu festival
      (Sanskrit: “Great Night of Śiva”), the most important sectarian festival of the year for devotees of the Hindu god Śiva (Shiva). The 14th day of the dark half of each lunar month is specially sacred to Śiva, but when it occurs in the month of Māgha (January-February) and, to a lesser extent, in the month of Phālguna (February-March), it is a day of particular rejoicing. The preceding day the participant observes a fast and at night a vigil during which a special worship of the linga (symbol of Śiva) is performed. The following day is celebrated with feasting, festival fairs, and, among the members of the South Indian Liṅgāyat sect, the giving of gifts to the guru (personal spiritual guide).

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