Report by Rajeev Lochan Rathan, Berhampur: As an ancient civilization, Indian has shown remarkable tolerance, peace, and love towards all needs of humans. Now, It is the time when three festivals, for the Hindu Maha Shivaratri,for the Christian Ash Wednesday and also arrive the Valentine’s Day , but they took care of each other’s without any conflicting situation in Brahmapur city.
Coincidentally, for the first time since 1945 Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day fall on the same date this year and Maha Sivaratri never happed together.
In this year, they have decided to break the rule and arrived together on the February 14. The morning was very devotional in the Brahmapur Cathedral for Ash Wednesday(first day of lent)and throughout the day devotional song was chanting in every temples celebrated Shiva’s wedding anniversary(Maha Sivaratri) in the city.
On Feb. 14, many Christians face a dilemma as they try to reconcile their faith with the traditional celebrations of Ash Wednesday be a time of reflection and promise. How exactly do observe Valentine’s Day on the day Lent begins, marking the season of compensation leading up to Easter.
According to Brahmapur Catholic Diocese Bishop Rev. Sarat Chandra Nayak , “while non-vegetarian food and alcohol are typically avoided on Ash Wednesday”. “It is really about the intentions behind the ceremony. What we are really hoping for is a moment to recognize God is a presence in the relationship”.
On the other hand, the Shiva temples in the city observed huge congregation as devotees lined up from early morning on Wednesday to get blessings from the Lord.
The devotees worshipped at the temple of Astasambhu, the eight Saiva pithas such as, Bramheswara (Lathi sasana), Gokaneswara (Sukunda), Sunkaleswara (Bhabinipur), Someswara (Ganju), Sandheswara (Ralaba), Kholeswara (Kolthigaon), Sundaraswara (Sundrapur)and Isaneswara (Golanthara) in the city.
According to a devotee Ruby Jena, “I have been keeping fast on Maha Shivaratri since years. After the Shiva Darshana in the morning, we will witness the Mahadipa (Diya worshipped on the peak of the temple) in the midnight and will stay awake throughout the night.”