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18 Incredible Images Of The Hindu Festival Maha Shivaratri (PICTURES)

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These glorious images show the Hindu festival Maha Shivaratri in full swing.

The hugely colourful event celebrates the Hindu god Shiva, believed to be the lord of cosmic destruction and dance.

Around 700,000 devout Hindus from India and Nepal were expected to travel to Kathmandu to attend the two-day festivities, which began on 27 February, the 14th night of the new moon during the Hindu lunar month of Phalguna.

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    An Indian Hindu devotee holds a human skull during a procession for Maha Shivaratri, dedicated to the Hindu god Lord Shiva, in Allahabad on February 27, 2014. Hindus mark the Maha Shivratri festival by offering special prayers and fasting to Lord Shiva, the god of destruction. AFP PHOTO/SANJAY KANOJIA
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    An Indian Hindu devotee holds a python during a procession for Maha Shivaratri, dedicated to the Hindu god Lord Shiva, in Allahabad on February 27, 2014. Hindus mark the Maha Shivratri festival by offering special prayers and fasting to Lord Shiva, the god of destruction. AFP PHOTO/SANJAY KANOJIA
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    An Indian Hindu devotee holds a human bone in his mouth during a procession for Maha Shivaratri, dedicated to the Hindu god Lord Shiva, in Allahabad on February 27, 2014. Hindus mark the Maha Shivratri festival by offering special prayers and fasting to Lord Shiva, the god of destruction. AFP PHOTO/SANJAY KANOJIA
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    A sand sculpture of Hindu god Lord Shiva, made by Allahabad University students, is pictured on the eve of Maha Shivaratri festival at Sangam in Allahabad on February 26, 2014. Hindus mark the Maha Shivratri festival by offering special prayers and fasting to worship Lord Shiva, the lord of destruction. AFP PHOTO/SANJAY KANOJIA
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    A Hindu Sadhu (holy man) poses for a photograph during the Maha Shivaratri festival at the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu on February 27, 2014. Hindus mark the Maha Shivratri festival by offering special prayers and fasting. Hundreds of sadhus have arrived in Pashupatinath to take part in the Maha Shivaratri festival. AFP PHOTO/Prakash MATHEMA
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    A Hindu Sadhu (holy man) smokes marijuana from a clay pipe as a holy offering for Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of creation and destruction, during the Maha Shivaratri festival at the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu on February 27, 2014. Hindus mark the Maha Shivratri festival by offering special prayers and fasting. Hundreds of sadhus have arrived in Pashupatinath to take part in the Maha Shivaratri festival. AFP PHOTO/Prakash MATHEMA
  • Maha Shivaratri
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    An Indian Hindu devotee holds a human skull and bone during a procession for Maha Shivaratri, dedicated to the Hindu god Lord Shiva, in Allahabad on February 27, 2014. Hindus mark the Maha Shivratri festival by offering special prayers and fasting to Lord Shiva, the god of destruction. AFP PHOTO/SANJAY KANOJIA
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    A Hindu Sadhu (holy man) paints coloured paste onto his face during the Maha Shivaratri festival at the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu on February 27, 2014. Hindus mark the Maha Shivratri festival by offering special prayers and fasting. Hundreds of sadhus have arrived in Pashupatinath to take part in the Maha Shivaratri festival. AFP PHOTO/Prakash MATHEMA
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    An Indian boy dressed as Mahatma Gandhi begs for alms from Hindu devotees during the Maha Shivaratri festival outside the Keesaragutta Temple on the outskirts of Hyderabad on February 27, 2014. The festival of Maha Shivaratri is marked by Hindus by fasting and offering prayers in a night long vigil. AFP PHOTO/Noah SEELAM
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    An Indian Hindu devotee looks on during a procession for Maha Shivaratri, dedicated to the Hindu god Lord Shiva, in Allahabad on February 27, 2014. Hindus mark the Maha Shivratri festival by offering special prayers and fasting to Lord Shiva, the god of destruction. AFP PHOTO/SANJAY KANOJIA
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    Indian children sit on an ornamental Ganesha head during a procession for Maha Shivaratri, dedicated to the Hindu god Lord Shiva, in Allahabad on February 27, 2014. Hindus mark the Maha Shivratri festival by offering special prayers and fasting to Lord Shiva, the god of destruction. AFP PHOTO/SANJAY KANOJIA
  • Maha Shivaratri
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    An Indian Hindu devotee holds a python during a procession for Maha Shivaratri, dedicated to the Hindu god Lord Shiva, in Allahabad on February 27, 2014. Hindus mark the Maha Shivratri festival by offering special prayers and fasting to Lord Shiva, the god of destruction. AFP PHOTO/SANJAY KANOJIA
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    Indian Hindu devotees perform a mock cremation ritual during a procession for Maha Shivaratri, dedicated to the Hindu god Lord Shiva, in Allahabad on February 27, 2014. Hindus mark the Maha Shivratri festival by offering special prayers and fasting to Lord Shiva, the god of destruction. AFP PHOTO/SANJAY KANOJIA
  • Maha Shivaratri
    Getty Images
    Indian Hindu devotees perform a mock cremation ritual during a procession for Maha Shivaratri, dedicated to the Hindu god Lord Shiva, in Allahabad on February 27, 2014. Hindus mark the Maha Shivratri festival by offering special prayers and fasting to Lord Shiva, the god of destruction. AFP PHOTO/SANJAY KANOJIA
  • Maha Shivaratri
    Getty Images
    Indian Hindu devotees perform a mock cremation ritual during a procession for Maha Shivaratri, dedicated to the Hindu god Lord Shiva, in Allahabad on February 27, 2014. Hindus mark the Maha Shivratri festival by offering special prayers and fasting to Lord Shiva, the god of destruction. AFP PHOTO/SANJAY KANOJIA
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    An Indian Sadhu (Hindu Holy man) smokes marijuna during Maha Shivaratri at Chadmani Shiva temple in Siliguri on February 27, 2014. The festival of Maha Shivaratri is marked by Hindus by fasting and offering prayers in a night long vigil. AFP PHOTO /Diptendu DUTTA
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    Indian Hindu devotees offer prayers during the Maha Shivaratri festival dedicated to the Hindu God Lord Shiva, at a temple in Amritsar on February 27, 2014. The festival of Maha Shivaratri is marked by Hindus through fasting and offering prayers in a night long vigil. AFP PHOTO/ NARINDER NANU
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    An Indian man dressed as Hindu god Kali begs for alms from Hindu devotees on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri at Chadmani Shiva temple in Siliguri on February 27, 2014. The festival of Maha Shivaratri is marked by Hindus by fasting and offering prayers in a night long vigil. AFP PHOTO /Diptendu DUTTA

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