Today, Y4 participated in an RE role play lesson, led by Mrs Mulhall (who, interestingly, spent time teaching in India). The children role played part of the aarti ritual. To remind the chikldren that they were role-playing they were invited to wear a head covering. Mahashivratri is a Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Shiva – one of the deities of the Hindu Trinity. Hindus will celebrate Mahashivaratri across the world later in the month month on February 21. We have a display in reception with some linked books if you would like to find out more. The children also heard and participated in a story about Shiva in addition to watching a video of Hindus worshipping in a temple
While most Hindu festivals are celebrated during the day, Mahashivratri is celebrated during the night and day that come just before the new moon. Each new moon is dedicated to Shiva, but Mahashivratri is especially important because it is the night when he danced the ‘Tandav’, his cosmic dance. Tradition says that Shiva, like his symbol the new moon, appeared in order to save the world from darkness and ignorance, before the world entered complete darkness.
Devotees of Shiva observe a fast during Mahashivratri and stay up all night at a place of worship. Shiva is offered special food made from the fruits of the season, root vegetables, and coconuts, during ritual worship.