This year saw an unusual tilt to the annual Mahashivatri festival in Tamil Nadu for it was celebrated on two days due to a difference between the dravidian (lunar) and aryan (solar) calendars. So, after it was celebrated all over India in February, it was celebrated in March in some parts of TamilNadu notably in Tiruvannamalai.
At the big temple of Arunachala there were awesome kolams drawn on the floors representing Lord Shiva and his consort Parvathi. There was also an incredible array of oil lamps (more than 100000) burning everywhere, lit by devotees and creating an ambience of sacredness and piety.
Giri Pradakshina was performed all through the night by hundreds well into the wee hours of the morning. Prasad was distributed at many of the lingam shrines on the path and the big temple hosted a live concert of Shivamani and his troupe which enthralled all the pilgrims and kept them awake, for the importance of this night is not to fall asleep.