February 6 – 13, 2015: Animals

An emaciated young sea lion that was probably looking for food was rescued along a major boulevard in San Francisco, more than 1,000 feet from the ocean is seen in a cage at the the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California on Wednesday, February 11, 2015. Hundreds of sick and starving sea lion pups and yearlings are turning up on California beaches. What’s separating the animals, who should be nursing, from their mothers remains unclear. (Photo by AP Photo/National Park Service)
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January 31 – February 6, 2015: Animals

Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, is held by the gloved hands of handler Ron Ploucha during the 129th celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., Monday, February 2, 2015. Phil saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter weather. (Photo by Gene J. Puskar/AP Photo)
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February 2012: Carnivals, Festivals, Celebrations and Protests Around the Globe

Activists protest against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement in front of the government palace in Vilnius , Lithuania. ACTA aims to harmonize international standards on protecting the rights of those who produce music, movies, pharmaceuticals, fashion, and a range of other products that often fall victim to piracy and intellectual property theft, but some Internet users are worried it could lead to online censorship. (Mindaugas Kulbis/Associated Press) Continue reading »

Exotic Hindu Festival Starts on February 20

Maha Shivaratri, a holy Hindu festival, will be celebrated on Feb. 20 and be marked across the world. The festival is meant to honour Lord Shiva, a Hindu God and one of the Trinity of the Creator, the Destroyer and the Preserver, who rule Hindu mythology. Shivaratri falls on a moonless February night, when Hindus offer special prayer to the Lord of Destruction. As the legend goes, Shivaratri is the night Lord Shiva is said to have performed the dance of primal creation, preservation and destruction.

Another popular legend is that Lord Shiva turned himself in the form of a Linga for the first time. Since then, devotees celebrate it as the grand night of Shiva.

During this festival, devotees observe day and night fasts, chant mantras and worship Lord Shiva to appease him. Some devotees smear their bodies in ashes and pray to their lord.

A Hindu holy man, or sadhu, applies paint on his forehead at Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu. (REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar) Continue reading »