The auspicious night that celebrates the wedding of Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati is known as Maha Shivratri. Bhang holds a greater cultural significance on the occasion. In many places like Varanasi, it is distributed among people as “Shiv Prasad.”
On Maha Shivratri, devotees consume bhang to celebrate the festival. The grinding of bhang in several places is considered very special and an art. Even in Bollywood movies, the stars groove to music with the lyrics on bhaang – songs like “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar” from “Aap Ki Kasam” and “Itna Mazaa Kyun Aa Raha Hai” from “Ye Jawani Hai Deewani” are based around bhang.
Bhang and Lord Shiva are closely associated. Thandai is a very popular drink which is made by mixing milk and bhang. It is readily available during the time of Maha Shivratri.
According to Hindu scriptures, bhang is also known as Vijaya. While worshipping, Shiva devotees offer bhang, dhatura and tambul as prasad which are liked by Lord Shiva. This is the reason why devotees consume bhang, especially on Maha Shivratri.
But do you know why Bholenaath loved bhang?
According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva differed from his family and went to the forest, where he slept near cannabis plants. As he woke up, he started eating those cannabis leaves, which he enjoyed a lot. This is how Lord Shiva started liking bhang. Today, all Shiv devotees can be seen having bhang to please Lord Shiva and celebrate Maha Shivratri.