Maha Shivaratri is one of the great festivals of Hindu people and everybody wants to be part of this festival. Maha Shivaratri is the festival devoted to lord Shiva. This festival usually falls on the 14th day of the dark half of ‘Margasirsa’ (February-March).
In some legends is had told that this day is the favorite day of god Shiva and god Shiva give answer to the goddess Parvati. In this special day women take fasting (vrata) for whole day and pray for the happiness of their husband and children but un-married girl takes fasting and pray that their husband will be like Lord Shiva because Lord Shiva is consider as the ideal husband. People from different area of county visit the temple of Pashupatinath.
Pashupati Nath temple is the oldest Hindu temple and situated at the bank of the holy river known as Baghmati. The priest worshiped the Shiva Lingam till the late night by cleaning it with milk, curd, honey, ghee and sugar and at the same time the priest chant of the Mantra “Om Namah Shivaya”. The fasting women worship Lord Shiva by offering the Bel leaves to the Shiva Lingam and the Bel Leaves is important leaves to worship Lord Shiva. In many legends it told that Bel Leaves is the Scared that the Goddess Laxmi exists in them. Many people visit to the places where there is temple of lord Shiva in that day.
In this festival the sadhus from India mostly come to Nepal and stay at Pashupatinath being one of their habitual annual pilgrimage sites, and other sadhus are also from around Nepal also come there. The sadhus put ash on their face and bodies and probably in this day the sadhus are sitting naked and wearing real snake in their neck. The young teenagers sat nearby the sadhu and start smoking marijuana (bhang) where sahdu are selling marijuana. As well as the people mix the bhang in the milk (intoxicating marijuana drink) and At the evening time people make the group and fire the wood and enjoy themselves by drinking and smoking. Likewise you must be careful when anybody offers you Ladu or any form of cake or Special Lassi (milkshake) that day due to the additional component you might want to avoid.
In the Pashupatinath temple the devotee gather to worship, due to many crowd the area is managed by making queue and slowly giving people to worship. In Pashupatinath area different organization have keep health camp, drinking water facilities to the women who are there to worship Lord Shiva. This area is covered by the police and army for the security and safety for the people visiting in the temple.
So if you are planning to visit Nepal then you can come little early/before to experience Shivaratri in different culture and you can hang out with the local people by celebrating at the night time. This will be your life time experiences and enjoy your holiday.