Nation celebrates ‘Maha Shivratri’
The festival of ‘Maha Shivratri’ which literally translates to ‘the greatest night of Shiva’ is one of the most splendidly celebrated festivals across the country.
Significance of Maha Shivaratri
There is a Shivaratri in every luni-solar month of the Hindu calendar known as Masik Shivaratri. However, Maha Shivaratri is celebrated only once a year in late winter (February/March) before the arrival of Summer. Maha Shivaratri literally means “the Great Night of Shiva”. It’s said that Maha Shivaratri is the night when Shiva performs the heavenly dance of creation, preservation and destruction.
Maha Shivaratri 2021 date and auspicious time to perform Lord Shiva Puja
- Maha Shivaratri Date: Thursday, March 11, 2021
- Chaturdashi Tithi Begins: 02:39 PM on March 11, 2021
- Chaturdashi Tithi Ends – 03:02 PM on Mar 12, 2021
- Ratri First Prahar Puja Time: 06:27 PM to 09:29 PM
- Ratri Second Prahar Puja Time: 09:29 PM to 12:31 AM, March 12
- Ratri Third Prahar Puja Time: 12:31 AM to 03:32 AM, March 12
- Ratri Fourth Prahar Puja Time: 03:32 AM to 06:34 AM, March 12
- Shivaratri Parana Time: 06:34 AM to 03:02 PM
Why do we celebrate Maha Shivratri?
The festival celebrates the grand marriage of the lord of destruction, Shiva — with the goddess of fertility, love, and beauty Parvati, who is also known as Shakti (power). According to Hindu mythology, on the night of the marriage, Lord Shiva had a very diverse group of acquaintances including Hindu gods, goddesses, animals, and demons escorting him to the house of the goddess.
About Shiv & Shakti
The duo of Shiv and Shakti is considered to be the epitome of love, power, and togetherness. The festival marking the initiation of their bond – ‘Maha Shivratri’ – is celebrated with great fervour across India.
What do people do on the occasion of ‘Maha Shivratri’
On the occasion, devotees across the country are seen flocking to temples, that often witness long queues from as early as the break of the dawn and chants of ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ and ‘Har Har Mahadev’ reverberate. Special prayers are offered in all Shiva temples throughout the holy night.
The ritual of fasting and Rudra-Abhishek
Following the traditional rituals, devotees observe fasts and are also seen worshipping the ‘Shivling,’ an iconic representation of Shiva. On the occasion of Maha Shivratri, devotees offer ‘Rudra-Abhishek’ or special ordination to the Shivling where they bathe the ‘Shivling’ with different substances and each of them has a specific significance. Devotees use water, curd, sugarcane syrup, milk, honey and other things for ‘Rudra-Abhishek. Other important offerings that are mandatorily used for the ‘Abhishek’ are Datura flower and fruit.
When is ‘Maha Shivratri’ celebrated?
Besides the celebration of the marriage of Shiva and Shakti, unmarried women pray and observe fasts on the day to wish for a partner as compassionate as Lord Shiva. Throwing light on the time of the year when the festival is celebrated, the priest said, “The festival of Maha Shivaratri is celebrated on the Chaturdashi of the Krishna Paksha of Phalgun month according to Panchang (Hindu calendar).” In This year, the festival will be celebrated across the country on March 11.