Maha Shivratri is one of the important and biggest Hindu festivals dedicated to Lord Shiva, a deity popularly associated with death and destruction. The day commemorates the union of Shiva and Parvati.
Every year, Maha Shivratri is observed by Hindus across the nation with ultimate fun and enthusiasm. Also known as Padmarajarathri or “The Special Night of Shiva'', the devotees worship Lord Shiva on this day, observe a strict fast and perform various religious activities to dispel darkness from their life.
The festival of Maha Shivaratri 2023 has great significance in Hindu mythologies. Find below all the important details about the Maha Shivaratri story and celebrations in India.
Maha Shivaratri is a grand festival in India that celebrates the union of Shiva and Shakti. It falls in the month of Phalgun according to the Hindu calendar, which may come in February or March. This year in 2023, the festival will be observed on the 18th of February.
Do you want to know the Maha Shivaratri story? Several myths and beliefs are associated with Maha Shivratri celebrations.
Most Hindus believe that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati united by marrying on this day. People in North India celebrate the day as the wedding anniversary of Shiva and Shakti. Shia is said to have entered into deep thought after the death of Sati. Later, Sati reincarnated as Parvati and got married to Shiva.
Another story revolves around the great night of Shiva when Lord Shiva consumed poison produced during Samundra Manthan, or the churning of the ocean, as the poison was so powerful to destroy the whole world. Due to this, his throat turned blue, and he started being known as “Neelkantha,” i.e. someone with a blue throat.
Another popular story says that on this night, Lord Shiva performed the Tandava, a cosmic dance that leads to destruction. One story revolves around a great devotee of Lord Shiva who unknowingly dropped thousands of Bel Tree leaves on Shiva's linga and pleased Lord Shiva with his devotion.
People celebrate Maha Shivaratri 2023 with great excitement and passion. Both men and women keep a strict fast for a whole day to get a good life partner like Shiva and Parvati, while married women observe the fast for the well-being of their husbands.
The scientific reason for fasting on Shivaratri is that it gives the body a break from hard-to-digest foods, further improving the digestive system. It also helps us in getting a relaxed state of mind.
People get dressed and visit Shiva temples after an early morning bath to worship Lord Shiva by pouring water, milk, honey, flowers, sweets and curd on Shiva linga. On this day, you can witness a giant crowned in temples which itself sets magnificent views. The offerings take place the entire day and night by devotees to please him.
All the temples of Lord Shiva are adorned beautifully with garlands and flowers. You can hear Shivratri Bhajans all day and night in temples. The festival of Maha Shivratri is celebrated across different regions in India. People in Madhya Pradesh take a holy dip near Khajuraho, while in West Bengal, 4 Shiva lingams are made and worshipped by people throughout the night.
Read on to learn a few interesting facts about the exuberant night of Maha Shivaratri. Take a look:
Maha Shivaratri is known as the “Great night of Lord Shiva”, which is observed by devotees in the month of Phalgun. People recite prayers, keep fast and perform meditation to please lord Shiva who is known as the “god of transformation”. It celebrates the union of Shiva and Shakti.
The celebration of the festival commemorates the cosmic dance of Shiva, i.e. “Tandava”, popularly known as the “Dance of Destruction”. Shiva, also known as “Nataraja”, dances in “Rudra Tandava” in an aura of fire, leading to building three stages of this universe: creation, preservation and destruction.
On this day, devotees across the country start their day by taking a shower with cold water. According to studies, it helps increase alertness, improve overall oxygen supply across the body, and provide the required energy and freshness for the whole day. They also keep a fast for the whole day.
The festival of Maha Shivaratri is included in various Puranas, especially the Skanda Purana, Linga Purana and Padma Purana.
Nishita Kaal or the time when Lord Shiva appeared as Shiva Linga on earth is the most important time for worshipping him. Devotees take a bath, dress nicely and wear clean clothes while performing the Puja.
The festival of Maha Shivaratri 2023 signifies love, passion and devotion in married lives. The day commemorates the amalgamation of two powerful forces in the universe - Lord Shiva and Parvati. It is celebrated across the country by Hindu devotees and rituals can differ. It is said that on this day, Shiva blesses devotees with good luck and prosperity.
Maha Shivaratri marks the celebration of the union of Lord Shiva and Parvati. It is the most crucial of the twelve Shivratris celebrated in a year. The important festival in Hindu culture signifies overcoming darkness and evils in life. On this day, people go to temples, worship Shiva and wish for a happy life. We wish you all A very Happy Maha Shivaratri to all.
1. Is Maha Shivratri a government holiday?
The festival is a public holiday in many states of India.
2. What can I eat during Shivaratri?
You can eat fruits like bananas, apples, grapes etc. This helps keep your body hydrated and energetic the whole day. Avoid dishes made from rice or wheat.
3. Which flower should be offered to Lord Shiva?
According to Hindu mythology, we can offer Datura, Bel tree leaves, and dry lotus to Lord Shiva. Avoid Champaka and Ketaki flowers.