Maha Shivaratri festival is also known as ‘night of Shiva’ is celebrated on the 14th night of the new moon in the Hindu month of Phalgun which corresponds in March in the English calendar.
Why Celebrate Shivaratri
There are several mythological stories behind why people celebrate Shivaratri. According to the most believed mythology, Shivaratri marks the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Parvati. It is believed that on this day Lord Shiva performed the dance named ‘Tandava’, the dance of the primal creation, preservation, and destruction.
Another mythology is that on this day Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of Linga. Hence this day is very auspicious to millions of Hindus and is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion every year.
One of the most known beliefs is that on this day when hunter could not find anyone to kill to eat in the forest, he waited around the branch of Wood apple tree. To attract deer, he started throwing leaves on the ground, pleased with the hunter patience and strategy Lord Shiva appeared in front of him and blessed him with wisdom. From that day, Hunter stopped eating thereafter.
Significance of Maha Shivaratri
Millions of Hindus all across the world worship in beautifully decorated temples with the belief that Lord Shiva will fulfill all their wishes and bring good luck in their lives. Devotees further believe that by pleasing Lord Shankara on the auspicious Shivaratri day, a person is absolved of past sins and is blessed with Moksha or salvation.
Maha Shivaratri Festival is also considered to be an extremely significant festival by women. Married and unmarried women observe fast and perform Shiva Puja with sincerity to appease Goddess Parvati who is also regarded as ‘Gaura’ - one who bestows marital bliss and long and prosperous married life. Unmarried women also pray for a husband like Lord Shiva, who is regarded as the ideal husband.