The festival of Maha Shivratri is celebrated by the devotees of Lord Shiva, who is the God of meditation, austerity, and contemplation. It is believed that Lord Shiva and Parvati got married on this auspicious night of Maha Shivratri. Devotees strongly believe that praying to Lord Shiva on this auspicious day washes away their sins and takes them closer to the path of salvation. On this day, devotees observe strict fasting and worship Lord Shiva with Milk, honey, sandalwood paste, Bel Leaves, flowers, fruits ets. It is followed by Meditation, chanting mantras and singing bhajans praising the Lord, throughout the night . Special celebrations at Rishikesh, Hardwar, Varanasi, Chidambarum, Kalahasti, Khajuraho, Bombay. In Himachal Pradesh, there is a week long Shivaratri fair that takes place in Mandi every year and is a major tourist attraction.