Festival Faces of Maha Shivaratri Kathmandu, Nepal

Hundreds of holy men have gathered to celebrate the Hindu festival of Maha Shivaratri in Kathmandu, Nepal .


Body paint and ash are smeared on their bodies and facial hair.


A Sadhu, holy man, smokes marijuana at the Kedarnath Temple in Bhaktapur.

Maha Shivaratri is an annual festival dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, and is particularly important in the Shaivism tradition of Hinduism. Unlike most Hindu festivals which are celebrated during the day, the Maha Shivaratri is celebrated at night. Furthermore, unlike most Hindu festivals which include expression of cultural revelry, the Maha Shivaratri is a solemn event notable for its introspective focus, fasting, meditation on Shiva, self study, social harmony and an all night vigil at Shiva temples.