MahaShivratri 2017 Celebrations and Rituals of MahaShivratri in India
February 03, 2017
A festival dedicated to Lord Shiva, Maha Shivratri is celebrated across much of India. Maha Shivratri is celebrated in north, south, east and west of the country covering Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Tripura in the eastern side as well as Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand in central and northern India. On the west Maharashtra, Gujarat celebrate the festival with gusto as do Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana in the south of the country.
Historically Shivratri is celebrated on the 13th day of the Falgun month and it also happens to be the last month of the Hindu calendar. The literal translation of the word Maha Shivratri is ‘great night of Lord Shiva’ and this is the night when Shiv performed the Tandava Nritya which is his famous dance of creation, preservation and destruction. This is also said to be the night when Goddess Parvati re-married Shiva.
Celebrations on Maha Shivratri
The festival is celebrated by offerings of Bael leaves to Lord Shiva, all-day fasting and an all-night-long watch or ‘jagran’. Typically devotees flock to the Lord Shiva temple early in the morning and offer obeisance fast the whole day and break the fast only after Chaturdasi that normally occurs after dusk. The fast is mostly kept by married women for the long live of their husbands and then.
Rituals of Maha Shivaratri
Flowers are offered by devotees, and incense is lit while everyone chants ’Om Namoshivaya’ the sacred mantra dedicated to Lord Shiva. Legend has it that anyone who keeps the fast on this day gets free from the eternal cycle of birth and death that Hindus believe in. So, observe the fast on Maha Shivaratri in 2017 and maybe you will be able to free yourself of his life and death cycle. This year Maha Shivratri is on Friday 24th February 2017.