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

Holy smoke!

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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.

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.

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

STRDEL/AFP / Getty Images

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.

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.

AFP/AFP / Getty Images

Devotees perform a mock cremation ritual 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.

PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP / Getty Images

A "sadhu" at the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu.

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.

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.

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

Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at tasneem.nashrulla@buzzfeed.com.

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