Today Hindus all over the world commemorate the Maha Shivarathri festival.
President Maithripala Sirisena issuing a message to mark the festival said the Hindus of Sri Lanka, who have a long tradition of friendship and harmony with all other communities in Sri Lanka will gain more strength in their search for unity through reconciliation and understanding with the spirit of Maha Shivarathri festival.
This festival is of special significance as it is believed to be when Lord Shiva performed the Thaandava or the cosmic dance of Shiva, that marks both primordial creation and preservation of the universe.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said in a message to mark the Maha Shivarathri Day that Maha Shivarathri celebration is meant to drive away the darkness with the light of knowledge and also to build unity and togetherness in society.
Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva in a message to mark Maha Shivarathri Day said the Maha Shivarathri festival is an occasion to pay homage to God Shiva.
Conducting pooja, prayers and singing of devotional songs and lighting of lamps, conducting a fast at kovils keeping awake the whole night helps to create a major transformation in life according to the belief of Hindus.