Hindu Nepali Community in the USA Celebrates Maha Shivaratri

The Hindu Nepali community across the United States is enthusiastically celebrating Maha Shivaratri, also known as the “Great Night of Shiva.” This major Hindu festival honors Lord Shiva, one of the principal deities in Hinduism.

Maha Shivaratri typically falls in February or March according to the Hindu calendar. This year, festivities began on Friday, March 8th and extend into Saturday, March 9th. Devotees traditionally observe a fast throughout the day or night, devoting themselves to prayers and meditation. Temples dedicated to Lord Shiva see a surge in devotees performing puja (worship rituals) and offering fruits, flowers, and milk. The air is filled with the chanting of hymns and mantras specific to Shiva.

One such center actively participating in the Maha Shivaratri celebrations is the Shree Pashupatinath and Buddha Mandir in Norwalk, California. This spiritual and cultural hub serves the Nepali community and is a common place of worship for Nepali Hindus, Buddhists, and others of these faiths. Established by the Shree Pashupatinath Foundation, USA, the center aims to promote and preserve Nepali cultural heritage, foster social and religious harmony, and practice and promote Nepali cultural values.

Closer to home, the Nepali community in New York is also celebrating in grand style. In a momentous occasion, the Ridgewood Nepalese Society is hosting the Maha Shivaratri festival at its newly inaugurated and long-awaited Durga Temple and Nepali Cultural Center. This significant event marks the culmination of nearly a decade and a half of tireless efforts and dedication by the Nepali community in New York to establish their own temple.

Devotees can participate in religious rituals, worship Lord Shiva, and immerse themselves in the spirit of the festival through bhajans (devotional songs) and kirtans (devotional chanting). Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to receive tilak (anointing) as part of the blessings offered.

Celebrating Maha Shivaratri at these centers and across the USA allows the Hindu Nepali community to connect to their faith and heritage while being away from Nepal. It strengthens community bonds and provides a platform to share their vibrant culture with others.