Maha Shivaratri, one of the biggest festivals in the Hindu calendar dedicated to Lord Shiva falls on February 21st this year. According to astrological readings, this auspicious day is taking place for the first time in 52 years.
Also known as ‘The Great Night of Shiva’, this Hindu festival marks a remembrance of “overcoming darkness and ignorance” in life and the world. There is a Shivaratri in every luni-solar month of the Hindu calendar, on the month’s 13th night/14th day. The main festival is called Maha Shivaratri, which is held on 13th night (waning moon) and 14th day of the month Phalguna.
On this day devotees fast, chant prayers and throng temples dedicated to Lord Shiva to seek his divine blessings. Unlike most Hindu festivals which are celebrated during the day, the Maha Shivaratri is celebrated at night.
Maha Shivaratri Date & Time:
Nishita Kaal Puja Time– 12:09 am to 1 am, Feb 22
Maha Shivaratri Parana Time– 6:54 am to 3:25 pm, Feb 22
Chaturdashi Tithi– 5:20pm to 7: 02 pm, Feb 21-22
Simple things to avoid on the auspicious occasion:
Tulsi: Do not offer Tusli or basil leaves in the worship of Lord Shiva. Use Bael leaves during pooja.
Flower: It is believed Lord Shiva like white flowers so flowers like dupahariya, Ketaki malati, champa and so on should not be offered to Mahadev.
Broken Things: Broken lentils, rice should not be offered to Shivalinga as damaged rice is considered impure.
Kumkum: Do not put vermillion on Shivalinga, you can apply sandalwood paste.
Black dress: Avoid wearing black garments for the puja ceremony as most of the Hindu rituals consider devotees wearing black clothes during rituals as inauspicious. Instead wear colours such as red, pink and yellow.
There are many folklores associated with Shivaratri, the most popular belief is that it marks the day of the celebration of the marriage of Shiva with Devi Parvati on this day.
Photo Credit: Holidify