Maha Shivratri is one of the foremost and important Hindu festivals. It is grandly celebrated every year in the month of February or March as per the Georgian calendar or on the 13th night/14th day of the Maagha or Phalguna month of the Hindu traditional calendar in reverence of Lord Shiva. This particular auspicious day is also known as padmarajarathri in certain regions across India. It is to be noted that the alternative spelling and name of this particular festival include Shivaratri, Sivarathri, Shivaratri and Maha Sivaratri.
Shivaratri literally means the night of Shiva or the great night of Shiva. It is to be remembered that the month and the Tithi doesn’t fall uniform all over India mainly because there are several different calendars that are strictly followed by different ethno-linguistic groups of India according to their respective regional language and region.
According to the Vikrama era or Phalguna or Gujarati Vikrama or the Shalivahana’s Krishna Paksha(waning moon) of the month of Maagha or in the dark fortnight, Shivarathri is celebrated with lot of dedication and devotion. The celebration is marked with an all-night-long vigil, all-day fasting and by offerings of Bilva/Vilvam or bael leaves to Lord Shiva.
As per the discipleship and scriptural traditions, penances are conducted in order to gain direct and indirect boons in the practice of meditation and Yoga. At Mandi in the state of Himachal Pradesh in North India, every year, a week-long International Mandi Shivratri Fair held with much festivity. It is one of the major tourist attractions in the state of Haryana.
Maha Shivaratri Puja Vidhi Video