© Niranajan Shrestha / Associated Press, Feb. 2012, Katmandu, Nepal

A Hindu holy man smears his body with ash and vermillion powder at the courtyard of the Pashupatinath Temple as celebrants begin arriving for the Shivaratri festival, dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva, on Feb. 20.

I’ve been to the Shivaratri festival in Haridwar (India) in 2010 when visiting the Kumbh Mela and have to say that this was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced. As I’m no religious person (I’m more an agnostic), it had to be something else - I just can’t put it into words, neither in English, nor in my mother tongue, so I don’t even try it, I only got five advices for you:

see it with your own eyes
hear it with your own ears
smell it with your own nose
taste it with your own tongue
feel it with your own hands