New Delhi [India], March 11 (ANI): Maha Shivratri, also known as the ‘Great night of Lord Shiva,’ is a Hindu festival observed by devotees from Kashmir to Kanyakumari with much fervour. It is celebrated on the 14th day of the dark fortnight of the Magha month, as per the Hindu lunar calendar, and marks the night of the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
However, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are several restrictions and guidelines put in place to ensure the safety of the devotees offering prayers on the holy day.
The Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, which usually draws thousands of pilgrims and sadhus on the festival is seeing a dip in the number of visitors this year due to the health crisis.
Meanwhile, in Haridwar, Uttarakhand, just like every year, thousands of Shiva followers assembled at Har Ki Pauri ghat to take a holy dip. The city is considered one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage centres because according to popular legend, it was here that Lord Shiva released the mighty river from the locks of his hair.
In Madhya Pradesh, priests at Ujjain’s Mahakal Temple offered prayers and performed ‘abhishek’ of Lord Shiva on the occasion of Mahashivaratri. Following the traditional rituals, priests were seen offering milk and honey to ‘Shivling,’ an iconic representation of Shiva- one of the deities of the Hindu triumvirate.
In Gorakhpur, pious devotees arrived in large numbers at Jharkhandi Mahadev Temple to offer prayers to their Lord.
In Varanasi, a sea of Shiva lovers arrived outside Kashi Vishwanath Temple and queued up for ‘darshan’ this morning.
However, due to an uptick in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, Trimbakeshwar Temple in Nashik and Babulnath Temple in Mumbai will remain closed for devotees on the occasion of Maha Shivratri.
Maha Shivratri is considered auspicious for spiritual growth. The festival, also known as ‘the great night of Shiva’, celebrates the overcoming of darkness and ignorance.
It also celebrates the grand marriage of the lord of destruction, Shiva — with the goddess of fertility, love, and beauty — Parvati, who is also known as Shakti (power).
According to Hindu mythology, on the night of the marriage, Lord Shiva had a very diverse group of acquaintances including Hindu gods, goddesses, animals, and demons escorting him to the house of the goddess.
The duo of Shiv and Shakti is considered to be the epitome of love, power, and togetherness. The festival marking the initiation of their bond – ‘Maha Shivratri’ – is celebrated with great fervour across India. (ANI)
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OSCARS ATTENDEES WILL NOT WEAR FACE MASKS DURING CEREMONY
WASHINGTON : The 2021 Oscars won’t make face masks a requirement during its live ceremony, which is scheduled to take place this Sunday.
As per Variety, the Academy is not asking Oscar attendees to wear face masks while cameras will rolling during the live ceremony. The news was announced on Monday morning during a Zoom meeting with Academy representatives and nominees, and studio and personal publicists. Because the ceremony—being held at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles—is being treated as a TV/film production, masks are not required for people on camera, an Academy staffer explained.
However, when guests are not on camera, they are being asked to wear masks. Oscars co- producer Steven Soderbergh remained mum on face-mask protocol during a press conference with co-producers Jesse Collins and Stacey Sher. He said on Saturday that masks would play “a very important role in the story”. “If that’s cryptic, it’s meant to be,” he added. “That topic is very central to the narrative.”
JESSICA BIEL OPENS UP ABOUT HER FAMILY LIFE WITH TIMBERLAKE
WASHINGTON: Hollywood star Jessica Biel, recently while making an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, opened up about her life at home with her husband Justin Timberlake and their two boys Silas and Phineas. According to E! News, Jessica and Justin are currently sleep training Phineas, which means spending a lot of time listening to a teething, crying baby. The couple had welcomed baby Phineas last summer after a private pregnancy. Jessica explained, “It’s so hard to let them cry for even a few minutes. That’s the sleep training we were doing. Phin did a beautiful job.”
She added, “We never really followed through with Silas in a big way with the sleep training. I think it was because he was a first child, we were nervous, we couldn’t bear the thought. Now it’s like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’re going to be fine. You’re going to make it. You’ll be okay.’” When asked if having two kids is harder than one, Jessica confirmed that it’s definitely not easy. Biel joked, “A very wise friend of mine said, ‘One is a lot. And two is a thousand. That’s exactly the way it feels. You’re like, man-on-man defence, one person’s here, one person is over there. It is a wild, wild ride.”
AJAY DEVGN REVEALS HIS FIRST LOOK FROM DEBUT OTT SERIES
NEW DELHI: Foraying into the digital space, Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn on Tuesday announced his first-ever OTT project with crime-drama series Rudra: The Edge of Darkness set to stream on Disney+ Hotstar.
The show will reportedly be a remake of the Idris Elba-starrer hit British series Luther. Ajay took to his Instagram handle and shared the first look of his debut web series, along with the caption, “Happy to announce the crime thriller of the year Hotstar Specials ‘Rudra – The Edge Of Darkness’. This one’s going to be ‘killer’ @disneyplushotstarvip.”
In the first look of Rudra: The Edge Of Darkness, a silhouette of Ajay can be seen standing in front of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. The silhouette then turns frame by frame towards the screen, revealing Ajay’s face, as the title of the show appears before the viewers.
PRIYANKA EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER CURRENT COVID SITUATION IN INDIA
MUMBAI: As the number of Covid-19 cases is surging across the nation, actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas on Tuesday expressed concern and urged people to stay at home. She took to Instagram Story and shared a post in which she stated that the ‘Covid-19 situation in India is grave.’
“The Covid 19 situation across India is grave. I’m seeing images and stories coming in from different parts of the country that are so scary… the situation is out of control and our medical fraternity is at a breaking point,” wrote Priyanka.
She added, “Please stay home…I beg you to stay home. Do it for yourself, your family, friends, neighbours, community, and also our frontline workers.”
Priyanka also shared a post lauding the vaccination drive to start the vaccination of people above the age of 18 years in India from 1 May.
AYUSHMANN OPENS UP ABOUT HIS ROLE IN ‘VICKY DONOR’core
NEW DELHI: Celebrating nine years of the hit Bollywood film Vicky Donor, actor Ayushmann Khurrana on Tuesday revealed how he felt about playing an unconventional hero in his debut movie.
Revealing that he was very jittery about the reaction audiences would have towards him as the film’s lead, Ayushmann said, “It’s been 9 years but it definitely seems like it happened yesterday. I can still feel the rush I felt on release day, nine years back. I was confident of the script but very jittery about the response that I would get from audiences as a lead actor.”
The actor then spoke about the support he got from his family and added, “I remember all the phone calls with my family and friends, how they kept telling me that audiences would welcome me because I have put in my best. I was an outsider just starting to write my own destiny and I was thrilled with the prospect of what life had in store for me. I owe so much to Vicky Donor.”
Ayushmann credited his director Shoojit Sircar for the fantastic debut that became a runaway success at the box office and said, “I owe everything to Shoojit Sircar for his vision and trust in me as an actor. I owe it to Ronnie Lahiri and Juhi Chaturvedi. It was a film that was trying to change the language of cinema in India and I’m so proud to have been a part of it.”
He currently has many projects in his kitty including Anek, Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui and Doctor G.
DIESEL SET TO STAR IN MOVIE ADAPTATION OF ‘ROCK ‘EM SOCK ‘EM’ GAME
WASHINGTON: Popular toy company Mattel’s film division recently announced its plans to develop ‘Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em’, the tabletop game featuring battling robots, as a live-action movie featuring Hollywood star Vin Diesel. According to Variety, Diesel, whose production company One Race Films is working on the current project with Universal Pictures, said, “To take the classic Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em game, with Mattel as my partner, and align it with the kind of world-building, the franchise-making success we have had with Universal, is truly exciting.” Ryan Engle, who wrote the movie Rampage starring Dwayne Johnson and also Liam Neeson’s The Commuter, penned the Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em screenplay. The story follows a father (Diesel) and son who form an unlikely bond with an advanced war machine. The role of Diesel’s character’s son has not been cast yet. Robbie Brenner, the executive producer of Mattel Films, said, “We are proud to bring this iconic piece of Mattel IP to life on the big screen with our tremendously talented partners Vin Diesel, One Race Films, and Universal.”
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