What are the origins of this festival?
It was on this day that Shiva is said to have saved the world from destruction on condition that people worshipped him with great enthusiasm.
Another legend says that Shiva simply named this as his favourite day when asked by the goddess Parvati.
A third story says that a hunter was unable to find any game and so decided to wait in a woodapple tree. He threw down leaves in the hope of attracting deer, but was unaware there was a sacred worshipping place to Shiva beneath the tree.
The god himself appeared and blessed the hunter with wisdom for his patience. From that day, the man stopped eating meat.