Thousands of guys from India and Nepal gathered a month to smoke bud, smear their bodies with vibrant ashes and offer prayers to the Hindu Deity, Lord Shiva.

Each year, about the new moon of the 11th month in the Hindu calendar, Maagha, most followers of Hinduism will coat their own bodies in vibrant ash, say prayers, play Yoga, quickly, reflect and…smoke bud. Skanda Gautam, a photojournalist for The Himalayan Times Daily paper, captured the yearly festival, called Maha Shivaratri, in Nepal where, although cannabis is prohibited, sacred men are allowed to smoke it within their religious ceremony.


Maha Shivaratri, a party of the Hindu god Shiva is seen by Hindus residing in several of nations around the globe. However, in Nepal, the party centers across the Pashupatinath temple. Music, human art, spiritual ceremonies and dancing are critical regions of the festivities. So is manifestation on desired virtues, like forgiveness and honesty.


The source stories of Maha Shivaratri range from source to source. Some tell stories of Shiva rescue the world from impending destruction. Others speak of Shiva awarding a patient however luckless hunter that the wisdom to quit eating beef. Others only claim the new moon of Maagha has been the deity’s favourite day of the year. Legend also has it that the Hindu god smoked cannabis from the woods near his temple.

Among the most famous stories entails Shiva ingesting a pot of poison that has been so fatal that its very presence jeopardized all life in the world. After swallowing the toxin, the narrative goes, Shiva’s skin turned into a pale blue.

Although this year’s festival occurred on Monday, February 18th, Maha Shivaratri drops on a different day each year, corresponding with the new moon. The party continues between three and ten times, depending upon the year.