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Celebrate Mahashivratri in 2024: Puja Vidhi, Story, Vrat Katha, Significance, How & Why Celebrate?

What is Mahashivratri? | About Mahashivratri | Meaning of Mahashivratri

Maha Shivratri Mahapuja


Mahashivratri is one of the biggest and most significant festivals among India's sacred celebrations. Among all the twelve Shivaratri that occur in a calendar year, Mahashivratri is considered the most important and is celebrated on the fourteenth day of the waning moon in the month of Phalguna. This night is regarded as the darkest night of the year and is celebrated as the festival of Shiva's grace. The planetary positions on this night are believed to amplify spiritual energies. Embracing wakefulness and performing rituals to connect with the divine are considered highly beneficial for physical and spiritual development.

Lord Shiva is Adiyogi, the first Guru and from Him, the tradition of yogic practices has originated. Mahashivratri is a festival of awakening. It is a celebration where one seeks blessings for inner transformation.  We find mention in The Ishan Samhita, that on the night of the 14th day of the waning moon in Phalguna, Lord Shiva appeared the form of a luminous linga with a radiance surpassing millions of suns.

Astrologers find that on the night of Phalguna Krishna Chaturdashi, the planets moon and the sun are very close to each other. Their closeness, symbolizing the union of Purusha (consciousness) and Prakriti (nature), leads to enlightenment. This night is celebrated as the marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Therefore, elaborate celebrations are carried out, symbolizing Lord Shiva's grand procession.

Lord Shiva, the husband of Mother Jagadamba, is surrounded by ghosts and demons. His body is adorned with ashes from the cremation ground, a serpent around His neck, poison in His throat, the moon on His forehead, and Rudraksha beads. Holding a drum and a trident in His hands, He rides a bull. Lord Shiva, the timeless and divine, blesses His devotees and bestows wealth upon them. He is prayed to with various names such as Shiva, Bholenath, Mahadev, Ashutosh, Umeshwara, Gaurishankar, Someshwara, Mahakal, Omkareshwara, Neelkanth,Vaidyanatha, Tripurari and Sadasiva,. It is believed that those who worship Lord Shiva with devotion and stay vigilant during Shivaratri gain immense benefits, equivalent to  years of continuous worship.

On this day, devotees queue up at temples from early morning. They offer milk and bilva leaves to Lord Shiva and perform Rudrabhishek, which is the ritualistic bathing of the Shiva Linga. 

Mahashivratri 2024 Festival Date & Muhurat (Auspicious Timings) For Puja & Fasting

Mahashivratri on Friday, March 8, 2024  
Nishita Kaal Puja Time - 12:07 AM to 12:56 AM, Mar 09  
Duration - 00 Hours 49 Mins  
On 9th Mar, Shivaratri Parana Time - 06:37 AM to 03:29 PM
Ratri First Prahar Puja Time - 06:25 PM to 09:28 PM  
Ratri Second Prahar Puja Time - 09:28 PM to 12:31 AM, Mar 09  
Ratri Third Prahar Puja Time - 12:31 AM to 03:34 AM, Mar 09  
Ratri Fourth Prahar Puja Time - 03:34 AM to 06:37 AM, Mar 09
Chaturdashi Tithi Begins - 09:57 PM on Mar 08, 2024  
Chaturdashi Tithi Ends - 06:17 PM on Mar 09, 2024

Why Do We Celebrate Mahashivratri?


Traditional stories related to Mahashivratri: 

It is said that once the Earth’s creation was complete, Ma Parvati asked Lord Shiva about the kind of rituals that please Him the most. Lord Shiva replied that worshiping Him with Bel Patra on the 14th day of the waning moon in the month of Phalgun by His devotees pleases Him the most. Thus Mahashivratri is considered a propitious night when all followers of Lord Shiva must take refuge in Him to free themselves of miseries and sufferings. Devotees all over the world wait for this holy night to seek the blessings from the Supreme Lord. There are many other stories around this most popular festival of Lord Shiva: 

Marriage of Shiva and Parvati: