Maha Shivaratri generally happens to fall in the 2nd half of ‘Phalguna’ month (Feb/March), during the dark lunar phase on the auspicious 14th night of ‘Amavasyha’. It is Hindu religious festival that is celebrated with annually with gaiety and pomp across India.
All through the night, acolytes of Lord Shiva keep watch over the ‘Lingam’-the phallic form of the god by conducting ‘Shivlingam Abhishekam’ on this propitious night. It is to be noted that for the long life of their spouses as well as their children, the married women offer their prayers with lot of dedication and devotion.
According to the Hindu religious scholars and pundits, one of the ancient Hindu scriptures that chronicles the all the event of ‘Samudra Manthan’– the legendary stirring of ‘Kheersagar’ which threw up two pots, one having ‘Amritam’ (the elixir of life) and the other poison, the origin of Shivaratri can be broadly traced back to the time of the Puranas.
On the other hand, a fierce battle was fought amongst the ‘Devas’ (deities) and Asuras (demons) for the Amritam pot that the deities successfully won, the poison was imbibed by Lord Shiva which largely saved the earth from cosmic inundation. After this particular incident Lord Shiva earned the soubriquet of Neelkantha. It is to be highly noted that Shivaratri is celebrated to commemorate this particular event.
This festival helps men folks to impose self-discipline in their life. As per certain rituals which required be adhered largely during Shivaratri, all the men folk along with their family members follow the Vedic practices and ancient Hindu rules and regulations.