By Katy Gill
Millions of revellers gathered to celebrate the Hindu god Shiva by smoking marijuana.
Crowds gathered for Maha Shivarati and were filmed by Puskar Nepal at Pashupatinath, a sacred temple in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Tuesday February 13.
More than 1.3 million devotees are expected to visit the city and the holy men – Sadhus – gathered there.
The Sadhus believe that smoking cannabis gives them immense pleasure and connects them directly to Shiva, who is often depicted smoking the drug.
Devotees will fast, meditate and prepare holy foods alongside singing and dancing songs to celebrate the god.
Puskar said: “Buying, selling or consuming cannabis is illegal in Nepal.
“Authorities used to lift the ban temporarily for the day of festival in the previous years.
“This year the police sent out a notice prohibiting the consumption of cannabis in Pashupatinath area.
“The police even arrested a few for smoking cannabis.
“Though a lot of people were seen smoking cannabis considering it as a holy offering to Lord Shiva, and they strongly believe that the ban should be lifted at least for the festive day.”