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Mahashivaratri: Auspicious Night of Lord Shiva

Mahashivratri is one of the major Hindu festivals. This festival needs great devotion and spirituality. Shivratri is celebrated all over India with equal devotion. All the Shiva temples resonate with heavenly sounds of Har Har Mahadev till might. Devotees pray in the temples and in their homes by singing bhajans, keertans and artis.

Date of Shivratri:

Mahashivratri is observed on 14 th night, a day before no moon day, of the month of Phalgun according to the Hindu calendar. According to Roman calendar, it comes in the month of February.

Legend about MahaShivratri

 There are several mythological views about this day. According one belief, Lord Shiva and Parvati got wedded on this day. Another belief says that Lord Shiva performed Tandava. Tandava means dance of primal creation, preservation and destruction.

Significance of The Festival:

Devotees pray on this festival for getting blessing of Lord Shiva. It is said that Lord Shiva is very soft hearted and easily grant the wishes of their devotees. Women specially pray on this day; married women pray Lord Shiva for the well being of their husbands and family and unmarried girls pray for getting an ideal husband like Lord Shiva.

Celebrations of Mahasivratri:

On this day, Shiva temples vibrate with holy chanting of mantra ‘Om Namah Shivai’ or other Shiva prayers. Shivalinga is bathed with raw milk every three hours and offerings of fruits are made. One can see long queues of devotees from morning till noon in all the temples to get glimpses of Shivlingas. A mark of haldi and chandan is put on the shivalinga after bathing it and offering of flowers, fruits and Bel Patra is made. One can hear loud sounds of temple bells.

Devotees make recitals of stories and legends of Lord Shiva to understand the significance of this day more deeply. Another feature of this festival is observance of fast for whole day. Some people observe fast only with fruits, taken only once or some more people observe it without any food and water called Nirjala Shivratri.