Maha Shivratri which actually means great night of lord Shiva is celebrated in homage of lord Shiva. It is celebrated PanIndia every year on the 13th night/14th day of the magh month of the Hindu calendar. According to English calendar it is celebrated mainly in the month of February and in the year 2014, Maha Shivratri will be celebrated on 27th of Feb.


Why do we celebrate Maha Shivratri?

There are many legends for the reason of celebrating maha shivratri, among all one of them says that when “Asur” and “Devtas” were performing samundra manthan using snake as a rope and mountain as a base, a poisonous pot emerged from the ocean, the pot was deadly enough to destroy every living thing. With the fear of getting killed, both “Asur” and “Devtas” came to lord Shiva. Lord Shiva then drank the whole poison and kept it in his throat and due to poison his throat turned blue and that’s where Lord Shiva got his name “Neel kanth” and that’s the reason Maha Shivratri is celebrated.


How is the festival celebrated?

On the very day of Maha Shivratri worshippers bathe the Shivlinga with milk, honey, flowers.

By the early morning, worshippers take bathe preferable by the Ganga water or any other holy water, wear clean cloths, and then go to the temple. The temple toots with the sound of bells and “Shankar ji ki jai”. Devotees pour water over it and some of them pour milk. Women pray for the long life of their husband and son while unmarried girls pray for husbands like Shiva. At the end of the day prashad is distributed among all the worshippers.

Festival rituals

On the very day of the holy festival of shivratri, a three tier platform is built around a fire. The entire three platforms have significant meanings. The top one represents swargaloka (heaven), the middle one denotes antrikshaloka (space) and the third one represents bhuloka (earth). the swargaloka is decorated with 11 kalash, symbolizing 11 demonstration of destructive Shiva. They are decorated with bael leaves and mango atop coconut representing the head of the lord Shiva. The three sport on the fruit symbolizes his eyes.