Maha Shivaratri: Significance, Celebration and Rituals
Maha Shivratri is celebrated across India and in neighbouring Nepal. In India, the most popular celebrations take place in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, where Lord Shiva is believed to have stayed.
Maha Shivratri is celebrated in the honour of Lord Shiva, with devotees observing day-long fasts.
The literal meaning of Shivaratri is “The Great Night of Lord Shiva”. According to the Hindu calendar, it is celebrated in the Varanasi in the dark fortnight or Krishna Paksha at the 13th night or 14th day of the month Maagha or Phalguna (month of February or March according to the English calendar) to worship Shiva Lingam to make happy the Lord Shiva.
It is believed that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married on this day.
On Maha Shivratri, People keep fast of whole day and night and Kashi Vishwanath temple gets congregated by the young and old devotees from the very early morning. They come to the temple to perform the puja of traditional Shivalingam and hope to get what they have prayed to the god. They take bath in the holy water of the Ganga (Symbol of the purity) early in the morning before sunrise and wear a clean clothe after the sacred bath.
Maha Shivratri is celebrated across India and in neighbouring Nepal. In India, the most popular celebrations take place in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, where Lord Shiva is believed to have stayed. Here, devotees carry out large processions with idol of Lord Shiva.