Hindu Festivals Calendar


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Maha Shivaratri

March 8

Maha Shivratri

Maha Shivaratri is a major Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the principal deities in Hinduism. It is celebrated on the 14th night of the new moon during the dark half (Krishna Paksha) of the month of Phalguna or Magha in the Hindu calendar, typically falling in February or March.

The term “Maha Shivaratri” means “Great Night of Shiva”. This festival is observed by remembering Shiva and chanting prayers, fasting, performing Yoga, and meditating on ethics and virtues such as self-restraint, honesty, non-injury to others, forgiveness, and discovery of Shiva.

One of the most significant aspects of Maha Shivaratri is the ‘Jaagran’ or vigil, where devotees stay awake throughout the night in worship. This is often accompanied by the recitation of shlokas, mantras, prayers, and hymns from sacred Hindu texts like Shiva Purana and Mahabharata.

A significant ritual of Maha Shivaratri is the ceremonial bathing of the Shiva Linga, a symbolic representation of Lord Shiva. Devotees bathe the Shiva Linga with milk, yogurt, honey, sandalwood paste, and rose water while chanting sacred mantras. This ritual, known as ‘Rudrabhishek’, is performed to appease Lord Shiva.

Maha Shivaratri also marks the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Some believe it to be the night when Lord Shiva performed the ‘Tandava’, the dance of the primal creation, preservation, and destruction.

The festival is not just a celebration but also a day of introspection and reflection on one’s actions and gaining a deeper understanding of life. It’s a day to celebrate the darkness of ignorance being dispelled by the light of knowledge, embodied by Lord Shiva.


March 8
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