As we bid adieu to winter and welcome spring with open arms, it is surely a great time to celebrate. Spring season is marked by several festivals in India, including Basant Panchami and more. Mahashivratri too is one festival that is celebrated with much fervour and aplomb by devotees. Translating to 'The Great Night of Shiva', the day is of special significance among Hindus who worship lord Shiva. Although there are many Shivratris throughout the year, Mahashivratri is of special importance and there are various reasons for it. Here's all you need to know about the festival, its timings for worshipping Lord Shiva, its significance and why it is celebrated, and the foods you can eat if you are fasting on this day.
Mahashivratri 2023 Date | When Is Mahashivratri 2023?
Mahashivratri is celebrated on the fourteenth day (Chaturdashi) of Krishna Paksha in the month of Phalgun as per the Hindu calendar. This year, Mahashivratri falls on February 18, 2023, which is a Saturday.
Mahashivratri Puja Timings | When To Worship On Mahashivratri 2023?
Here are the timings that devotees can follow for Mahashivratri 2023:
Nishita Kaal Puja Time - 12:09 AM to 01:00 AM, Feb 19
Duration - 00 Hours 51 Mins
On 19th Feb, Shivaratri Parana Time - 06:56 AM to 03:24 PM
Ratri First Prahar Puja Time - 06:13 PM to 09:24 PM
Ratri Second Prahar Puja Time - 09:24 PM to 12:35 AM, Feb 19
Ratri Third Prahar Puja Time - 12:35 AM to 03:46 AM, Feb 19
Ratri Fourth Prahar Puja Time - 03:46 AM to 06:56 AM, Feb 19
Chaturdashi Tithi Begins - 08:02 PM on Feb 18, 2023
Chaturdashi Tithi Ends - 04:18 PM on Feb 19, 2023
Mahashivratri 2023 Significance | Why Is Mahashivratri 2023 Celebrated?
There are several legends associated with why Mahashivratri is celebrated. One legend suggests that Mahashivratri was the night when Lord Shiva performed his 'Tandava Nritya' or heavenly dance of creation, destruction and preservation. Some others also say that Mahashivratri was when Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati.
Meditation and spirituality play a special role in this festival. On this day, devotees visit the temple and chant the name of Lord Shiva. Milk is poured and 'Bael' leaves are adorned on the 'Shiv Linga' in the temple in a bid to please the Lord and receive his blessings. Fruit, sandalwood paste, and sugar are also offered to the lord in order to appease him.
Mahashivratri 2023 Fasting Rituals | Foods To Eat On Mahashivratri Fast
On Mahashivratri, some devotees may also observe a full-day fast as a penance for Lord Shiva. Some people consume only fruits such as ber, apples and bananas along with milk during Mahashivratri fast, while others may follow a strict 'Nirjala' fast without even consuming a drop of water throughout the day. However, these fasts are not recommended for those who are sick, aged or pregnant ladies.
Devotees may also eat a light vegetarian or 'Sattvik' food on their Mahashivratri fast day. According to drikpanchang.com, people who are fasting should eat only one time on the day before the festival. The next morning, they should take a 'Sankalp' or pledge to observe a full-day fast on Mahashivratri and only break the fast after sunset or sunrise the next day.
There are various different foods you can eat on Mahashivratri day. Sabudana is one ingredient that can definitely be a part of your Mahashivratri menu. Click here for some Sabudana recipes for Mahashivratri. You can also consume Sattvik, vrat-friendly dishes like Kuttu ki Poori, Samak ke chawal and Makhane ki Kheer.
Here's wishing all our readers a very Happy Mahashivratri 2023!
About Aditi AhujaAditi loves talking to and meeting like-minded foodies (especially the kind who like veg momos). Plus points if you get her bad jokes and sitcom references, or if you recommend a new place to eat at.