22 Incredible Images Of A Hindu Festival Where Holy Men Smoke A Lot Of Pot

Holy smoke!

1. Mahashivratri is a Hindu festival celebrated by the devotees of Lord Shiva — the Hindu god of creation and destruction.

AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh

A devotee dressed as Lord Shiva during a religious procession for Mahashivratri in the northern Indian city of Allahabad on Feb. 27.

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A Hindu devotee at a Shivratri procession in Allahabad.

3. Hindus mark the festival of Mahashivratri or the “Great Night of Lord Shiva” by offering prayers, fasting and meditating.

Jitendra Prakash / Reuters

A man dressed as Lord Shiva performs with fire during Shivratri celebrations in Allahabad.

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AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh

A woman dressed as the Hindu Goddess Kali participates in a Shivratri procession in Allahabad.

5. This year the festival was celebrated in India and Nepal on Feb. 27.

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A devotee holds a python during a Shivratri procession in Allahabad.

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A devotee holds a human bone in his mouth during the Shivratri procession in Allahabad.

7. By some accounts, Mahashivratri marks the marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvati — the Hindu goddess of love and devotion.

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Devotees dressed as Lord Shiva (right) with a snake in his mouth, and Mata Parvati (left) participate in a procession on the eve of the Shivaratri in Jammu in the northernmost part in India.

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Mukesh Gupta / Reuters

An artist is helped with getting dressed as both Shiva and his wife Parvati before a religious procession in Jammu.

9. By other accounts, Mahashivratri signifies the night Lord Shiva performed the “Tandava,” the cosmic dance that symbolizes the creation, conservation, and destruction of the universe.

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Devotees perform a mock cremation ritual during a procession in Allahabad.

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A devotee holds a human skull and a bone in his mouth during a procession in Allahabad.

11. Every year, hundreds of Hindu “sadhus” (holy men) travel to the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu, Nepal, to take part in Mahashivratri celebrations.

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A “sadhu” at the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu.

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AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha

A holy man talks to his devotee during Shivaratri at the courtyard of the Pashupatinath temple.

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14. The “sadhus” mark the festival by praying, meditating, smoking some form of cannabis, and smearing their bodies with ash.

Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters

A sadhu smokes marijuana on a chillum (pipe) at the Pashupatinath Temple during Shivaratri.

15. So do some holy women.

AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha

A Hindu holy woman smokes marijuana during the “Shivaratri” festival in the courtyard of the Pashupatinath temple.

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Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters

A “sadhu” rubs ashes on his hand at Pashupatinath.

17. The holy men smoke cannabis which has mythological and spiritual associations with Lord Shiva.

PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP / Getty Images

A Nepalese “sadhu” smokes marijuana using a ‘chillum’, a traditional clay pipe, as a holy offering for Lord Shiva.

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PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP / Getty Images

19. Although marijuana is illegal in Nepal, only the “sadhus” are legally permitted to smoke it for religious rituals inside the Pashupatinath temple.

PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP / Getty Images
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Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters

21. The holy men are not permitted to sell or distribute drugs to ordinary devotees and pilgrims.

Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters
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Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters

A dreadlocked “sadhu” at the Pashupatinath temple.

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