Maha Shivratri is a Hindu festival which celebrates God Shiva, one of the most important deities in the Hindu religion. This year, Maha Shivratri holiday in 2023 falls on 18 February. There are 12 Shivratris in total out of which Maha Shivratri is considered the most important one. Every month, Shivratri falls a day before the new moon day. It is the 14th day of each month, per the Hindu calendar. ‘Mahashivratri’ literally means ‘great night of Shiva’, and it is celebrated on the 14th night of Phalguna (February/March). This festival is believed to be the night when Lord Shiva performed the Tandava, a cosmic dance that represents the cycle of creation, preservation, and destruction.
Let’s learn more about the Maha Shivratri celebration!
|Shivratri 2023 Date||18th February 2023|
|Shubh Muhurat/Time||8:02 PM on 18th February (Saturday) – 4:18 PM on 19th February (Sunday)|
|Significance||Chaturdashi of Shukla Paksha of Phalguna|
• Performing Special Prayers
• Performing aarti in front of Shivalinga
• Visit temples dedicated to Lord Shiva
• Offering Milk, Honey and Fruits to Shivalinga
|Puja Time||First Ratri Parhar Puja: 18th February 2023:6 13 PM to 9:24 PM |
Second Ratri Puja: 18th February 2023 9:24 PM to 19th February 12:35 AM.
Third Ratri Prahar Puja: 19th February 2023 12:25 AM to 3:46 AM
Fourth Ratri Prahar Puja: 19th February 3:46 AM to 6:56 AM
Nishita Kaal Puja: 19th February 2023 12:09 AM to 1:00 AM
|Duration||51 Minutes (Nishita Kaal Puja)|
In 2023, Maha Shivratri holiday falls on the 18th of February which is Chaturdashi of Shukla Paksha of Phalguna. This year, it will begin at 08.02 pm on Saturday (18th) and go on till 4:18 pm on Sunday (19th). This is the Maha Shivratri muhurat.
Additionally, in 2023, the Shani Pradosh Vrat is also on the day of Mahashivratri. It is said that Lord Shiva blesses those who observe the Shani Pardosh fast with a son.
As per Hindu calendar, Shivratri is observed each month on the 14th day before the new moon. Out of the 12 Shivratri in a year, Maha Shivratri is considered to be the most auspicious one. On this Mahaparv devotees do Puja Abhishek and worship Lord Shiva. The table below displays the Shubh Muhurat to celebrate this auspicious day
|Shivratri 2023 Parana Time||19th February, 06:56 AM to 03:24 PM|
|Ratri First Prahar Puja Timing||06:13 PM to 09:24 PM|
|Ratri Second Prahar Puja Timing||On 19th February, 09:24 PM to 12:35 AM|
|Ratri Third Prahar Puja Timing||On 19th February, 12:35 AM to 03:46 AM|
|Ratri Fourth Prahar Puja Timing||On 19th February, 03:46 AM to 06:56 AM|
|Beginning of Chaturdashi Tithi||On 18th February February 18 08:02 PM|
|End of Chaturdashi Tithi||On 19th February, 04:18 PM|
Maha Shivratri Puja Vidhi, the method of worship for Maha Shivratri, is the set of rituals and prayers performed to honor Lord Shiva on the auspicious day of Maha Shivratri. The puja vidhi includes a series of steps to be followed in a specific order to ensure the purity and sanctity of the puja.
The first step of the puja vidhi is to clean and purify the puja area by sprinkling Gangajal and spreading cow dung. This is followed by the installation of the Shivling, which is the symbol of Lord Shiva. The Shivling is then smeared with a mixture of sandalwood paste, kumkum, and turmeric powder. The next step is to offer flowers, fruits, and sweets to the Shivalinga as a symbol of devotion.
After this, the devotees perform the shiv aarti. They light lamps and camphor in front of the Shivling, accompanied by singing devotional songs. The aarti is performed three times, once at the beginning, once in the middle, and once at the end of the puja. After the aarti, the devotees offer milk, honey, and fruits to the Shivling as a symbol of devotion. The puja vidhi concludes with the distribution of prasad among the devotees as a symbol of blessings from Lord Shiva.
Maha Shivratri Puja Vidhi is a powerful way to connect with Lord Shiva and seek his blessings. It is believed that by performing the puja vidhi with devotion and sincerity, one can attain inner peace, prosperity, and happiness. The Maha Shivratri Puja Vidhi is also believed to purify the mind and soul and bring blessings of Lord Shiva to the devotees. It is a powerful way to connect with the divine and is considered to be one of the most important and auspicious days for the followers of Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva, also known as Shankara and Bholenath, forms the Hindu Trinity, along with Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu. He is also known as ‘the destroyer’. According to Hindu mythology, he is the one who protects and transforms the universe.
Lord Shiva is depicted with a serpent around his neck. He also has a crescent moon on his head and the river Ganga flowing out of his hair. He is said to have a third eye on his forehead. His weapon is the trishula, or the trident.
As the stories go, Maha Shivratri holiday is celebrated with great enthusiasm. On this day, Lord Shiva performed the Tandav dance to celebrate his victory over the demon, Tripurasura, who had been causing trouble for the gods and sages. He also did this to destroy the ego and ignorance of all living beings, leading them to the path of enlightenment. The dance is also said to represent the cycle of creation, preservation, and destruction in the universe.
The Tandav dance is also seen as Lord Shiva’s way of showing his power, energy, and his ability to destroy the universe and recreate it again.
Lots of stories and tales talk about Maha Shivratri holiday celebration but one such is where. Lord Shiva had married Sati and after her death he went into deep meditation. Sati reincarnated as Parvati on the 14th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Phalguna.
On this night Shiva also performed the dance of preservation, creation, and destruction. However, according to some, Maha Shivratri is a thanksgiving ceremony. This story is about how Lord Shiva saved the world. He drank the poison and held it in his throat rather than swallowing it, which turned his throat blue.
Maha Shivratri holiday is celebrated in every region of India. Devotees of Lord Shiva observe a fast and perform special prayers, rituals and observe a one-day fast to seek the Lord’s blessings.Lets find out how it is celebrated in detail.
While observing the fast the devotee should wake up early and take a holy bath, followed by the Shiv Puja. In the name of Lord Shiva devotees observe fasting or Vrat that continues throughout the day and conclude on the next day during the parana timing.
On this day, devotees perform special prayers by chanting “Om Namah Shivay ” or Om Namo Narayanaya or Om Shri Gurvaye Nama, during which lamps and incense is lit. Many people also perform a traditional puja, which is a religious ceremony that involves offerings of flowers, fruits, and sweets to the Shivalinga, the symbol of Lord Shiva.
Some people also perform aarti, which is a ritual of waving a lighted lamp or camphor in front of the Shivalinga, accompanied by the singing of devotional songs. Most of the temples conduct pleasing Shiv bhajans while performing the aarti. This includes Om Jai Shiv Omkara, Har Har Har Mahadev, Om Jai Ganga Dhar Har, Om Namah Shivaay, and many more.
Majority of the devotees visit temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and offer milk, honey, and fruits as a symbol of devotion.They chant prayers and meditations on virtues and ethics such as honesty, charity, non-injury to others and discovery of Lord Shiva.
This ritual is being performed by many devotees as a symbol of peace, happiness and prosperity. As per Hindu beliefs, milk is one of the favourite foods of the god. However, some believe that on the night of Maha Shivrartri Lord Shiva performs tandav to express his grief and anger. This cosmic dance depicts creation, sustenance and destruction of the universe. So it is believed that pouring milk and honey over the god will cool his fiery temper.
Maha Shivratri is celebrated with great fervor and devotion across India, with each state having its own unique way of observing the festival .
Devotees of Lord Shiva perform certain rituals on the day with great enthusiasm and devotion. Let’s check out some of the prominent rituals performed during the day.
The day starts with taking a holy bath in the river Ganga and offering prayer to the Sun God, Vishnu and Shiva as a symbol of purification rite.
The devotees keep a fast and break this fast on the next day, after the nightlong worship.People keep this fast to mark the devotion to their beloved deity. As per Hindu beliefs, girls who keep fast on this day can get the desired husband.
On this auspicious day, Shivalinga is given a special bath with honey, sandalwood paste, rosewater, milk and yogurt. Thereafter, sindoor is applied on the Shivalinga. Besides, Bilwa leaves and Beetle leaves are placed on the top to cool down the fierceful deity.
Mahshivratri vrat vidhi entails the entire procedure of fasting on this day that should be followed as per the guidelines.
Fasting is a great way to give your body a break and cleanse it internally.Some people observe ‘Nirjala Vrat’ where they consume no food or water. However, not many can pull up this tough phase and therefore here is a list of some of the food that one can consume while having a fast on Maha Shivratri.
As per Hindu beliefs, Lord Shiva is fond of milk and therefore milk-based beverages and desserts are one of the popular picks for devotees during their fast. One can prepare thandai, kheer, curd, barfi for fasting.
While having a fast, consuming fruits can be a viable option as they are packed with nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fibres, and phytonutrients. Accordingly individuals can try fruit chats, fruit milkshakes, and other nutrient-rich options.
Dry fruits are one of the good munching options that can satiate hunger. Almonds, cashews, dates, raisins, dried apricots are one of the prominent dry fruits that an individual can consume during fasting.
Without any sort of spices or herbs one can try pakoras or vadas as snacks during the fasting. As per experts, while preparing the pakoras and vadas one can add spices like cumin powder, black pepper, cinnamon, rock salt, and many more.
You can consume potatoes in any form such as boiled potato, Aloo tikki and other food items. One can have Khichdi with no garlic, ginger, onion and turmeric. There is no restriction in having sabudana khichdi with potato, peanuts, rock salt, and other savoury ingredients.
The Hindu community across the country celebrates Maha Shivratri with great dedication and devotion. Here is the list of some best places where one can explore to witness the auspicious event in its full grandeur. .
On the day of Maha Shivratri, a large number of devotees gather at the Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain. It is one of the 12 world famous Jyortirlings and therefore one of the most revered shrines dedicated to Shiva.This festival is celebrated on the banks of River Shipra, where Hindu priests perform special abhishek and mantra chanting in the name of the lord.
This place houses one of the tallest Shivlingas. A large number of devotees gather around the temple and break fast after raising ‘Mahadipa’ during the evening. The temple is beautifully decorated during the day and beautiful Bhajan Samarohs take place after day break.
Haridwar and Rishikesh is one the ideal places to celebrate Mahashivratri.Millions of devotees visit this place of North India and take a holy bath along the River Ganga to wash away their sins or wrongdoings.
In the temples of Varanasi the deity is worshipped by offering milk, honey, and bilwa leaves. Hindu adherents across the globe visit this place to witness the celebration in the joyous mood. Some devotees consume Bhang and dance in the parade as a ritual.
During this year, one can also pay a visit to Isha Yoga Centre where Sadhguru performs singing, dancing and meditation. On this day individuals across the globe participate in Sadhguru’s event. However, some watch the full event through live streaming on televisions or any other online platform.
Maha Shivratri is celebrated to honour Lord Shiva. It is a significant day as it is said that on this day, Lord Shiva married Parvati.
Moreover, the day’s importance is increased as, based on legends, Lord Shiva saved the world on this day. The story of Samudra Manthan, also known as the “churning of the ocean,” is a popular tale in Hindu mythology. It tells of the Devas and Asuras working together to churn the cosmic ocean to obtain amrit, the elixir of immortality.
During the Samudra Manthan, a deadly poison called Halahala emerged from the ocean. The poison was so potent that it threatened to destroy the world and all its inhabitants. Lord Shiva, the god of destruction, stepped in to save the world by consuming the poison. He held the poison in his throat, which turned blue as a result, earning him the name “Nilakantha,” or “blue-throated one.” His wife, Parvati, quickly pressed her palm on his throat to stop the poison from spreading, thus saving the world. This act of sacrifice by Lord Shiva is widely revered and celebrated in Hindu mythology, as it symbolises the power of selflessness and devotion to the greater good.
Thus, people celebrate Maha Shivratri to praise Lord Shiva’s brave deeds.
Maha Shivratri is a huge festival that is celebrated all across India. Majorly, the states that celebrate Maha Shivratri holiday are:
In the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, Maha Shivratri is celebrated with great devotion, with people visiting the famous Lord Shiva temples, such as the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, where special prayers and rituals are performed.
The festival is also celebrated in the state of Uttarakhand, where the famous Kedarnath Temple and Badrinath Temple attract a large number of devotees.
In Punjab, Maha Shivratri is celebrated as “Mahadeep”, and people light lamps and candles in the temples and homes as a symbol of devotion to Lord Shiva.
In Maharashtra, the festival is celebrated with devotees visiting temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and offering prayers and rituals. People also observe a fast on this day and visit the famous Lord Shiva temple at Elephanta Caves.
In Gujarat, people participate in processions and carry Lord Shiva’s idol on a chariot. Special prayers and rituals are performed in temples, and the famous Somnath temple attracts many devotees on this day.
In Tamil Nadu, Maha Shivratri is celebrated as a four-day festival, with the first day being “Vasanthotsavam”, which marks the arrival of spring, and the last day being “Mahashivaratri.”
In Karnataka, the festival is celebrated with people visiting the famous Lord Shiva temples in the state, such as the Murudeshwara Temple, Gokarnanatheshwara Temple, and the Kadri Manjunath Temple.
In West Bengal, people visit the famous Tarapith temple. The temple is known for its strong association with Tantra and is considered one of the 51 Shakti Peethas.
In the state of Odisha, Maha Shivratri is celebrated as “Tribeni Snana”, where people take a dip in the river Mahanadi, considered to be sacred on this day.
The state celebrates Mahashivratri with huge celebrations in temples like Jyotirlinga Mahakal Temple, Mahakaleshwar Mandir, and many more. Thousands of devotees visit these temples to offer prayers and chant mantras throughout the night. The state flares up with shopping stalls and traditional fare.
Festival of Shivratri ‘Herath’ is celebrated in Jammu and Kashmir by performing Watak Nath Pooja.On this day special community kitchens are conducted by social organisations around the temples. This community kitchen provides foods, sweets, and cold drinks to devotees. The prominent temples that devotees across the world visit to offer prayers includes Kameshwar Temple at Akhnoor. The Temple Management Committee offers free langer and medicare to devotees.
Popularly known as Choti Kashi, Himachal Pradesh flares up with the famous Mandi Shivratri fair that is held for 7 days. To celebrate this auspicious day, more than 200 idols of deities are carried to Bhootnath Temple, which attracts numerous visitors from the nation.
Each state has a unique way of celebrating the festival. There are many temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in each state, where hundreds and thousands of devotees are seen worshiping on the day of Maha Shivratri.
Maha Shivratri is celebrated in many countries across the world, especially those with a large Hindu population. Nepal, Bangladesh, and Mauritius are the three main countries, other than India, where this festival is celebrated.
In Nepal, many people visit the Pashupatinath Temple, one of the most important temples of Lord Shiva in the world, to offer their prayers and perform various rituals. Many people also participate in the Rudra Abhishek Puja, which is a special puja dedicated to Lord Shiva.
In Mauritius, Maha Shivratri is celebrated with great enthusiasm. On this day, devotees gather at Ganga Talao, also known as Grand Bassin, to offer prayers to Lord Shiva. Many people also take a dip in the sacred river Jhanvi, which is believed to cleanse the soul and bring blessings. The celebration is unique in that it combines traditional Hindu rituals with elements of Mauritian culture. It is a colorful and lively event that brings the community together in a spirit of devotion and celebration.
In Bangladesh, devotees gather at Chandranath Dham, a temple located in Chittagong, to offer prayers and perform traditional rituals to Lord Shiva. Many people fast throughout the day and night and participate in puja ceremonies to seek blessings from Lord Shiva. People also offer milk, honey, and fruits to the shivling. The temple is decorated with lights and flowers, and a large number of devotees visit the temple to offer their prayers, making the temple lively and vibrant. The festival is also celebrated in many other temples and homes across the country.
Maha Shivratri is an important Hindu festival celebrated across India and other parts of the world. It is celebrated to honor Lord Shiva, the god of destruction and regeneration, and marks the night when he performed the cosmic dance of creation and destruction. This festival is an occasion for devotees to come together to offer prayers, perform rituals and seek blessings from Lord Shiva. It is also an opportunity for people to contemplate on their spiritual journey and strive for enlightenment. Maha Shivratri is a festival that brings people together and is a reminder of the power of devotion and the importance of self-reflection.
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Maha Shivratri is celebrated to honor Lord Shiva and his marriage to goddess Parvati. It is also said that on this day, Lord Shiva performed the Tandav dance to celebrate his victory over the demon, Tripurasura.
You can have potatoes, sabudana, milk and milk desserts, sendha namak, pakoras made of singhada flour, fruits, and dry fruits.
It is said that you should not sleep on the night of Maha Shivratri. This is because there are great energies present that humans can benefit from.
This year, Maha Shivratri time will end at 4:18 pm on Sunday, 19th February 2023.
In 2023, the Maha Shivratri falls on 18th February. The muhurat starts at 08.02 pm on Saturday (18th) and goes on till 4:18 pm on Sunday (19th).
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