India is the land of many festivals that are celebrated all year long. One such festival is MAHASHIVRATRI, unlike other festivals in India. It is mainly celebrated all night long. This year Mahashivratri falls on 13th February. It is one of the most important festivals. As it doesn’t demonstrates the victory of good over evil. Rather it is the event which is mainly associated with, the focus on Meditation, fasting self study harmony etc.
It is celebrated at the month of Phalgun (Magh). According to the Indian Calender; this mainly falls on the 13th night and 14th morning. If seen according to the Gregorian Calender, this festival is mainly celebrated in the Month of February or March.
The day before Amavasya, or new moon, is the day that is referred to as Shivratri. This is the 14th day of the lunar –month. Of all the Shivratri that are celebrated all year round. The one that falls in the lunar Month. Or in the month of Magh holds prominence and significance. Because it is said that it consists the power of all the 12 Shivratris combined together.
History of Mahashivratri:
According to myths and legends he is the dance of Creation, preservation and destruction. Or in other words Tandav is performed, at this night. Some legends also believe in that this is the night of celebrations. That commemorates the celebration of Marriage union of Lord Shiva with his Beau Goddess Parvati (Daughter of Himavan & Mena). Goddess Parvati was the reincarnate of Sati. She is the Daughter of Daksh who is considered as Prajapati.
Another legends says that it is the period where offering to the various icons of Shiva. Such as Linga are made to get rid of past sins. And it have a fresh start on the path of spirituality, virtue etc to lead to the path of Moksha.
The celebration is done in many ways in temples, in community and even individually. In case of temples the devotees after taking a dip in the holy water. After that they proceed towards the Shiv Temples, carrying, milk, flowers and other prayer essentials.
For women, both married and unmarried alike the festival holds significance because, the puja done by married women. This vrat will provide longer life to their husbands. And for unmarried girls it will give them a husband like Lord Shiva. Which in turn will give them a marital- Bliss.
Another Importance is that because of the planetary confluence and position, confer benefits for health body and mind.
The term Mahashivratri comes from two words. Words are Maha means –great or Grand, Ratri means night or to take refuge. Hence Mahashivratri means the great night. It means to take refuge in the spiritual way in the presence of Adi-Guru. Hence we have seen, why Mahashivratri is celebrated. And various myths and legends associated with it. But significance of this is same for different people.MAHASHIVRATRI FESTIVAL by Acharya Dharam Shastri