Mahashivratri is a divine annual festival celebrated to the Hindu God Shiva. Festival of Mahashivratri is celebrated on the 14th night of phalgun, corresponds to the month of February and March.
Mahashivratri festival is also called as the night of the Shiva and is celebrated with devotion and religious favor in honor to the Lord Shiva, one of the greatest deities of Hindu Trinity. Shivaratri falls on the no moon day in the 14th night of the new moon in the Hindu month phalgun. Celebrating this auspicious festival marks the intense love and charisma with the Lord Shiva. In this the devotees observe day and night fast and perform legends of Mahashivratri.
Various interesting legends related to this auspicious festival have been told. According to the most popular legend, it marks the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Parvati. There are some belief that it was the auspicious night, in which Lord Shiva performed the ‘Tandava’, the dance of the primal creation, preservation and the destruction of the humankind. There is another popular legend story related to Mahashivratri, stated in Linga Purana that it was on Shivaratri that Lord manifested himself in the form of Linga. Hence, Shiva devotees consider the day very auspicious and they celebrate it as Mahashivratri – the grand night of Shiva.
Traditions and Customs of Shivaratri
Various traditions and customs are duly followed by the devotees of the Lord Shiva. Devotees observe a strict fast in honor to show respect to Lord Shiva, though many go on diet of fruits and milk and some do not even consume water. Devotees believe that true worship of Lord Shiva on this day of Shivratri, remove the sins and liberate one from the cycle of birth and the death. Shivratri is considered very auspicious for women, married women pray for the well being of their husbands while unmarried women pray for a husband like Lord Shiva, who is regarded as the ideal husband.
In the day of Mahashivratri, devotees wake up early in the morning and take ritual bath in the holy Ganga or in the holy water of Ganges. They wear new clothes and visit the nearest Shiva temple to give ritual bath to the Lingum with milk, honey and water.
On Shivratri, whole day people worship Lord Shiva and every three hours priest perform ritual Pooja of Shivalingam by bathing it with mill, yoghurt, ghee, sugar, honey and water by enchanting the mantra “ Om Namah Shivaya “.
10 lovable offerings of Lord Shiva
1) Shiv mantra
5) Cow milk
7) Cow Ghee
Mahashivratri 2017 is on 24 Feb 2017. This is a very auspicious day for offering favorite things to Lord Shiva to seek his blessings for the health, wealth and prosperity. If you wish to have a Rudrabhishekh yagya on this, it can help to remove all the obstacles of life and will bestow you with happiness and success in both the worldly and the spiritual kingdom.