Maha Shivratri is one of the most important festivals of Hindus. The great night of Lord Shiva falls on the new moon day in the Maagha month as per Hindu calendar. Dedicated to the beloved Hindu deity, Lord Shiva, the festival holds great importance because of its spiritual and religious implications. Reciting the Shiva Chalisa and the Shiva Aarti with utmost devotion, the devotees believe that no prayer goes unanswered on this sacred day. They have a strong belief that on this auspicious day, they will be pardoned for their sins and attain salvation, enlightenment, and Moksha.
Significance of the festival
There are many sacred scriptures that speak of the tremendous significance of Maha Shivratri. A Hindu hymn, Shiva Tandava Stotram describes the power and beauty of God Shiva. It is traditionally accredited to the King of Lanka, Ravan, who was also the greatest devotee of Lord Shiva. It is believed that the destroyer of the death itself, Lord Shiva himself declared the festival to be his most favourite. The devotees of Lord Shiva perform fasting and perform the ritual of giving a sacred bath to Shiva Linga with water, milk, honey, etc. on this fortunate day with complete sincerity.
Why is it celebrated?
There have been many legends around the festival! For some, the festival indicates the marriage ceremony of the Shiva with Goddess Parvati, while some people believe that it is the day when Lord Shiva performed Tandava, the aggressive form of dance. Be it any belief, the essence of worshipping has remained same since forever.
Some devotees bathe Shiva lingam with holy water, honey, curd, milk, or ghee. After abhishekam, bel leaves are offered along with flowers and fruits to the Lord. Whether it is the legend of Shiv Puran, the story of Neelkantha, or the fable of the hunter, devotees perform various kinds of traditional rituals while along with reciting the Shiva Aarti to get blessings of their lord.