This festival honors Shiva who, along with Vishnu and Krishna, is one of the most important deities in Hinuism. It is observed in the spring and is celebrated with fasting, prayer, and meditation.
Fasting is part of celebrating this holiday. Check before inviting someone to lunch or hosting a meal. Before arranging any event involving food, check to see if invitees are following a special Maha Shivaratri diet.