Shivaratri: Marijuana Day? | Article by Susan Chaudhary

‘Lord Shiva consumed marijuana and being a devotee of Shiva, I too smoke marijuana.’ Many young teenagers give the same reason every time they are asked for one of the reasons of consuming marijuana.

‘Shivaratri’, one of the Hindu’s festivals where lord Shiva, the almighty and the powerful, is worshiped. This festival marks a remembrance of “overcoming darkness and ignorance” in life and in the world.

On the day of Shivaratri, according to our Hindu rituals, married female devotees of Lord Shiva fast the whole day for the longer life expectancy of their husband and unwed girls fast for the day to get a worthy and mighty husband like Lord Shiva.

These are common beliefs and practices that are being passed out from generation to generation. But with Shivratri, also comes one different practice among Hindus; the tradition of smoking marijuana.


Marijuana is a plant used to treat a number of different conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, etc. It is also believed that this plant helps in improving eating disorders such as anorexia and appetite loss.

But saying this, is consuming marijuana in the name of God acceptable and good practice?

We all are aware of the fact that Marijuana is banned in Nepal. It is illegal to grow, sell and export this plant. As Nepal was attracting thousands and thousands of hippies from all around the world to buy marijuana at cheaper rates in an accessible way, the then Nepal Government came up with a conclusion and canceled the licenses of all cannabis shops, dealers, and farmers, under pressure from the United States and the International community in 1973.

Hippies who were tagged as wild and restless people had recognized Nepal as the best available place to get marijuana in the early 1700s. The selling of marijuana was one of the growing businesses back then that had helped Nepal in uplifting the country’s economy as well. As it got banned in 1973, Nepal was in a bit loss from the economic perspective.

In one way it was a good step taken by the government but in another way, it was a poor decision. With the prohibition of this plant more illegal businesses, sales, and production of marijuana increased and it is not a good sign for a developing country like ours.


Photo by Suranjan Koirala

Talking back about Shivaratri, though marijuana is banned in Nepal legally, consumers find their way in getting marijuana for the day.

It’s not about whether its consumption is good or bad but the way people have set their belief that Shivratri is the day to consume marijuana and they need to get it anyhow though it is illegal is a wrong concept, tradition and practice.

Shivratri is a holy festival, but with years it has changed the way it is celebrated. Youngsters treat this festival as a day for freedom, the day to smoke pod, to enjoy getting high, celebrating with marijuana; all in the name of Lord Shiva.

Do you think Shivaratri should be renamed as Marijuana Day?

If not, let’s spread the message to not misuse the value of Marijuana in the name of God, festival, practice and belief.

In the name of culture, let’s not spread wrong message to our new generation. In the name of God, let’s not misuse the plant and in the name of festival, let’s not over consume Marijuana.

Let’s practice the real “Maha Shivaratri” and stop spreading the message that ‘Shivaratri’ is a Marijuana Day.



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Susan Chaudhary: founder, and writer at Offline Thinker. A good listener who loves to edit videos, travel, write, and try new hobbies.


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