Maha Shivaratri is a Hindu festival celebrated annually in honour of the god Shiva. The name also refers to the night when Lord Shiva performs the heavenly dance.
In every month of the lunisolar Hindu calendar, there is a Shivaratri – “night of Shiva” – on the day before the new moon. But once a year, in late winter and before the arrival of Summer (February/March), this night is called “Maha Shivaratri” – “the Great Night of Shiva”.
This day falls in the month of Phalguna as per the North Indian Hindu calendar and in Magha as per the South Indian Hindu calendar. The auspicious day for Mahashivratri will begin at 3.16 am on Tuesday, March 1. The Chaturdashi Tithi will end on Wednesday, March 2, at 10 am.
How to celebrate
Begin your day with a bath in Brahma Muhurta. After that, place an urn filled with water at the house’s place of worship. After that, place Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati idols alongside the urn.
Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati should be given Akshat, Paan, Betel nut, Roli, Molly, Sandalwood, Clove, Cardamom, Milk, Curd, Honey, Ghee, Datura, Belpatra, Kamalgatta, and fruits. Perform the Puja and, in the end, sing Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati’s aarti.
The festival includes a jaagaran, which is an all-night prayer vigil. Many Hindus worship Shiva with fruits, leaves, sweets, and milk, emphasising self-study and social harmony.
The auspicious day for Mahashivaratri will begin at 3.16 am on Tuesday, March 1. The Chaturdashi Tithi will end on Wednesday, March 2, at 10 am.
Some Hindus may visit a Shiva temple or make a pilgrimage to a Jyotirlinga, one of the 12 traditional Shiva shrines in India.
On this day, people recite Mahamritnyujya and Shiva’s mantra.