Maha Shivratri, March 8, 2024

 ॐ हौं जूं सः ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः ॐ त्र्यम्‍बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम् उर्वारुकमिव बन्‍धनान् मृत्‍योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात् ॐ स्वः भुवः भूः ॐ सः जूं हौं ॐ !! 

Mahashivratri is an annual Hindu festival venerating Lord Shiva, commemorating his divine union with Goddess Parvati. Observed on the 13th night and 14th day of the lunisolar month in the Hindu calendar, Mahashivratri, known as “the Great Night of Lord Shiva,” occurs once a year during late winter, typically in February or March, coinciding with the month of Phalgun before the onset of the summer season.

Date of Mahashivratri 2024

This year, Maha Shivratri is scheduled to be celebrated on March 8th, 2024.

In Hinduism, Maha Shivratri is regarded as one of the most esteemed festivals, symbolizing the victory over darkness and ignorance. It holds significance as a day of remembering Lord Shiva through prayers, fasting, and meditation. Some devotees observe vigil all night, offering prayers to Lord Shiva, while others visit Shiv temples or undertake pilgrimages to jyotirlingas.

According to religious beliefs, praying to Lord Shiva is believed to fulfill one’s wishes. Among Kashmiri Pandits, Maha Shivratri is referred to as Herath, meaning the “Night of Hara,” another name for Shiva.


History and Significance

Several stories are associated with Maha Shivratri. According to one mythological belief, on this auspicious night, Lord Shiva performs a celestial dance symbolizing creation, protection, and destruction. Another belief is that Maha Shivratri commemorates the divine wedding of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Additionally, it is believed that by offering prayers to Lord Shiva and visiting Mount Kailash, individuals can seek redemption for past sins.

The Shiv Tandav, or Lord Shiva’s cosmic dance, holds significant historical and cultural importance. It is celebrated annually during Maha Shivratri at major Hindu temples such as the Konark Sun Temple, Khajuraho, Modhera, Pattadakal, and Chidambaram. This annual dance festival, known as Nityanjali, translates to “Worshiping God through Dance.”

Celebrations of Maha Shivratri

Maha Shivratri is celebrated worldwide, with India being home to a vast number of Shiva devotees. The Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain stands as one of the most renowned shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, attracting large gatherings of devotees who come to offer prayers during Maha Shivratri. Similarly, in Gujarat, a grand Mela takes place in Junagadh, where devotees bathe in the sacred kund known as “Murghi Kund.” According to legend, it is believed that Lord Shiva himself bathes in Murghi Kund.

Read Article on Katasraj Temple-Last mark of Lord Shiva

Nepal also observes Maha Shivratri with great enthusiasm, particularly at the renowned Pashupatinath Temple, where thousands of devotees from around the world gather to pay homage to the Shiva Shakti Peeth. Throughout the night, numerous sacred rituals are conducted, accompanied by various classical music and dance performances. Maha Shivratri is recognized as a National Holiday in Nepal, allowing devotees to fully participate in the festivities and religious observances.

In Pakistan, Maha Shivratri is celebrated by the Hindu community, who visit the renowned Shiv temple known as the “Umarkot Shiv Mandir.” This temple hosts a three-day Shivratri festival, attended by approximately 250,000 people. The entire event’s expenses are covered by the Pakistan Hindu Panchayat, showcasing communal harmony and support for religious festivities.