The Hindu festival of Maha Shivratri is celebrated every year in worship of Lord Shiva. The day commemorates the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Also known as ‘Shivratri’ the festival of Maha Shivratri is considered as a “Great Night of Lord Shiva”. It marks the convergence of Shakti and Shiva. According to Hindu calendar, Maha Shivratri is commemorated on Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi on the month of Magha, as per the calculation of Amavasya-ant month. According to the calculation of Poornima-ant month, the day is Chaturdashi or Krishna Paksha Trayodashi of Hindu calendar month, Phalguna that falls in March or February, according to Gregorian calendar. Maha Shivratri is the holiest festival among 12 Shivratris throughout the year.
According to the popular belief, Lord Shiva danced his well-known Tandav steps on the Maha Shivratri eve. The night is also known as the darkest night in the year. This festival also falls on the night and it is the best reason to celebrate it. Shiva is worshipped by all and he is known as the destroyer. This festival is all about finding peace in yourself and the creation starts when everything is destroyed.
Here are the 10 unknown facts about Maha Shivratri
- Maha Shivratri falls on the 14th moonless night (Krishna Paksh) of Phalgun month, as per Vikram Samvat. It falls on the months from February to March according to English calendar.
- Shiva’s Great Night or Maha Shivratri is celebrated with religious fervor and devotion in honor of Lord Shiva across the world. On this Day, Lord Shiva was married to Goddess Parvati.
- The destroyer of ego, Lord Shiva clears out all the past negatives of Karma which have prevented us from our real potentials. Maha Shivratri is observed to transform when we awaken to the ones we actually are.
- Without Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva is completely a “Nirgun Brahman”. With his illusive power, Lord Shiva is ‘Sagun Brahman” for the pious devotion from the devotees.
- Devotees wash out their sins and accept happiness and peace by participating in the Rudrabhishek Puja (a group prayer on Maha Shivratri).
- The day of Maha Shivratri is completely rejuvenating when we turn into the everlasting yogi in ourselves by consciousness and surrendering our body to the eternal yogi, the awaken soul.
- It is believed that Lord Shiva performed his famous Tandava dance on this night. It is the dance of preservation, primordial creation and destruction of ego and people worship Lord Shiva to appease him and stop the destruction.
- The absolutely formless Sadashiv is believed to appear as Lingodbhav Moorti at the mid night of the day of Maha Shivratri. All the devotees stay vigil during Shivratri.
- In every 3 hours on Maha Shivratri, priests perform the rituals of Shivlingam pooja by bathing it with honey, yogurt, milk, ghee, water and sugar and chant Om Namah Shivay and ring the temple bells.
- The night-long jaagran or vigil is also observed in his temples where a lot of devotees sing the devotional songs and hymns throughout the night to praise Lord Shiva.