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Maha Shivratri 2022: Know date, significance, legends and rituals

Maha Shivratri 2022 in India: Maha Shivratri called as “The Great Night of Shiva” celebrates the convergence of the forces of Shiva and Shakti. The Shiv-Shakti duo is considered to be the epitome of love, power, and togetherness.

The festival is celebrated in the Indian month of Phalgun and is one of the most grandly celebrated days. 

Shivratri date and muhurt

This year, the auspicious festivities on Shivratri will begin at 3:16 am on March 1 and will end at 1:00 am on March 2.

Shivratri legends

As per beliefs,  there is a Shivratri every luni-solar month of the Hindu calendar however the Maha Shivratri happens once every year, when the winter draws to a close paving way for spring and summer, in the months of February/March.

Stories behind Shivratri celebration

Different legends throughout history describe the significance of Maha Shivratri. One of them says that on this night, Lord Shiva performed the Tandav – a heavenly dance of creation, preservation and destruction. 

Other legend says that Shiva – the lord of destruction married Parvati – the goddess of fertility, love, and beauty, who is also known as Shakti (power) on this day.

Another story says that this night, Lord Shiva drank the cosmic poison, churned by the Gods and demons from the ocean of milk. 

Shiva locked the poison in his throat for eternity, turning his neck blue. Shivratri, thus celebrates Shiva’s benevolence.

Shivratri celebration

On Shivratri, devotees spend the day in prayer, meditation and observing strict full-day fasts. Some celebrate in the morning while others organise ‘jagrans’ at night.

Devotees worship the ‘Shivling’ – the iconic representation of Shiva and offer Rudra-Abhishek. They can be seen bathing the Shivling with water or milk or curd.

Chants of ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ and ‘Har Har Mahadev’ echo in several temples across India. Unmarried women fast on Maha Shivratri as it is

believed they will get a husband like Lord Shiva.

In the city of Ujjain, where the Mahakaleshwar Temple (one of the 12 Jyotirlingams) is located, witnesses large processions with people thronging the streets to catch a glimpse of the revered idol of Lord Shiva

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