Our favourite season Spring is upon us and needless to say we are loving every bit of these longer, warmer and pleasant days. Spring in India is often packed with festivals, Mahashivratri being one of them. Maha Shivratri, that translates to 'The Great Night of Shiva' is a significant festival for Hindus. Devotees pay their obeisance to Lord Shiva. Ardent followers even stay up all night in the temples singing and chanting prayers. The all-night vigils and prayers are followed by distribution of prasad. Temples see an outpour of devotees on this day, they arrive with milk, fruits and offerings for the deity. Many people also opt to fast for the occasion.
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There are many Shivratris throughout the year, but Maha Shivratri is said to be the most important one of them all. Mahashivratri is celebrated on the 13/14 night of Krishna Paksha in Phalguna of Hindu calendar.
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Date and Puja Timings of Mahashivratri:
This year Mahashivratri would be celebrated on 11th March 2021.
Maha Shivaratri on Thursday, March 11, 2021
Nishita Kaal Puja Time - 12:06 AM to 12:54 AM, Mar 12
On 12th Mar, Shivaratri Parana Time - 06:33 AM to 03:02 PM
Ratri First Prahar Puja Time - 06:26 PM to 09:28 PM
Ratri Second Prahar Puja Time - 09:28 PM to 12:30 AM, Mar 12
Ratri Third Prahar Puja Time - 12:30 AM to 03:32 AM, Mar 12
Ratri Fourth Prahar Puja Time - 03:32 AM to 06:33 AM, Mar 12
Chaturdashi Tithi Begins - 02:39 PM on Mar 11, 2021
Chaturdashi Tithi Ends - 03:02 PM on Mar 12, 2021
Significance of Mahashivratri |Why Do People Fast On Shivratri
Shivratri is one of the oldest festivals of India. There are several legends associated with Shivratri. Some say that it is one this night Shiva performed the heavenly dance of creation, preservation and destruction, while some beliefs suggest that Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati on this auspicious occasion. Shivratri focuses on the power of meditation and spirituality. Many people also fast on this day to show their spirit of devotion and focus. While some consume only fruits and milk, there are people who observe a 'nirjala' fast- where they do not even consume a drop of water until they open their fast. Even those who are not fasting, try to eat light vegetarian, or Sattvik food. Major Shiva temples of Jyotirlingam like Somnath and Kashi witnesses a wide gamut of devotees who come from across the world to worship the deity. These temples are also decorated with lights and diyas, and are a sight to behold in the evening.
Happy Shivratri 2021 everyone!