Mahashivratri is celebrated by Hindus in honor of Shiva and this year the festival falls on February 13. The festival is celebrated by worshipping the god Shiva or Shivling, fasting and praying. Devotees chant hymns to appease the god. Water, milk, curd and honey are poured over the Shivling during the puja. Mahashivratri fast is one of the most stringent ones. People abstain from any cereal and pulses. They eat fruits and drink water and milk but many people observe fast without even drinking water. People also meditate and observe night vigil. They stay awake the entire night, singing devotional songs and chanting mantras. The next day, devotees visit Shiva temple and break to conduct a puja and break their fast. Traditionally, Shiva is offered bhang during the puja. Here is a simple recipe to make bhang thandai for Mahashivratri. (ALSO READ Maha Shivratri Recipe: How to Make Panchamrit Prasad For Maha Shivratri 2018).
1/4 cup of sugar
4 and 1/2 cups of boiled and cooled milk
1/4 cup of crushed almonds
1 tablespoon of fennel seeds
1 tablespoon of poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of cardamom powder
2 teaspoons of bhang
Few strands of saffron
Take milk in a big bowl and add cardamom powder and sugar to it. (ALSO READ Mahashivratri 2018: Importance, Puja Muhurat Timings, Mythology, And Celebrations Related to Festival of Lord Shiva).
Add fennel seeds, poppy seeds and almonds to the milk.
Mix the milk mixture for about five minutes and keep it in fridge for about two hours.
After two hours, take out the milk and strain it using a sieve to separate the spices. (ALSO READ What To Eat During Mahashavratri Fast).
Then, add saffron strands, pepper powder and the bhang. Mix well.
Pour it into glasses and offer it to Shiva before you serve it to others.
Enjoy the festival and the drink.