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TRADITIONS & UTENSILS

  

 

 

  Shivratri

 

India

The annual Shivratri parade in Varanasi (fig.) features the main characters related to Shiva and his shakti, of whom the latter is portrayed in all her different aspects, including her terrible or malicious forms, such as Kali, ‘the Black One’, who is also known as Mahakali (fig.).

 

Prominent characters related with Shiva, include also Saivites, Shiva's followers, and Ganesha (fig.), the son of Parvati, who in this parade is riding a horse, rather than his usual mount, the rat.

 

  Shivratri

 

  Shivratri

 

In her avatar as Uma, Shiva's consort's mount or vahana is a lion (fig.), hence it is also featured in the parade.

 

Some devotees believe that it was on the auspicious night of Shivratri that Shiva manifested himself in the form of a linga, whilst it is also generally assumed that it was on this night that Shiva performed the tandava, the cosmic dance of the primal creation, preservation and destruction.

 

  Shivratri