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An annual pan-Indian festival in honour of Śiva, held on the fourteenth day of the dark lunar fortnight during the month of Māgha (January–February), or Phālguna (February–March), depending on the calendar being used. It involves fasting, and performing four different Śiva pūjās, with bilva leaves and water, at intervals during a night time vigil. An explanatory myth tells of how a hunter spends a foodless night sheltering from wild animals in a bilva tree. Some water and the leaves of the tree fall onto a Śiva liṅga concealed below. Consequently, the hunter is liberated as result of his inadvertent pūjā.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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