Families from across Blackburn gathered to celebrate the festival of Maha Shivaratri at the weekend.

The Lancashire Hindu Association hosted the event with overnight prayers, which this year coincided with International Women’s Day on Friday, March 8.
'The Great Night of Shiva' is celebrated in honour of the deity Lord Shiva, between February and March.

Across the globe the day is commemorated with ‘great fanfare and fervour’ with several prayer meetings.

Unlike most Hindu festivals that are celebrated during the day, Maha Shivaratri is celebrated through the night.
The occasion was inaugurated with prayers on the teachings and offerings to Lord Shiva and was followed by a drama production of the life of Lord Shiva by the children of the Poornavidya Theatre group.

Lancashire Telegraph:

The festival commemorates the wedding of Shiva and Parvati, and the occasion that Shiva performs his divine dance, called the 'Tandava'.
The function had three sections, each devoted to the various teachings of Lord Shiva who is one of the ‘trilogy of celestial beings worshipped in the Hindu faith’, said the Lancashire Hindu Association.

Chair of LHA, Subramaniam Sivashankar, said: “I’m delighted to say there was tremendous enthusiasm for the Maha Shivaratri pooja celebrations.

“Led by members of the community, the event symbolised a time of spiritual introspection, devotion, and reverence for Lord Shiva's divine essence. 

“Coming together to celebrate festivities such as Shivratri and Diwali not only honours our cultural roots but also promotes community unity and mutual respect. 

“Members of Indian community commend Lancashire’s inclusive spirit in embracing diverse traditions and cherish the harmonious celebration of Maha Shivaratrithat unfolded last night.”