Maha Shivaratri

Hindu Festival observed as a public holiday in several countries

Statue of Shiva - Lord of Dance at sunlight

When is Maha Shivarati?

Dates of Maha Shivarati
Year Weekday Date
2017 Friday February 24th
2016 Monday March 7th
2015 Tuesday February 17th
2014 Friday February 28th
Countries who observe Maha Shivarati
India India (regional)
Mauritius Mauritius
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka

Maha Shivaratri is a famous Hindu festival celebrated each year in reverence of Lord Shiva.

Shivaratri is celebrated on 13th day of Falgun month - the last month of Hindu calendar.

It is celebrated across India and is a holiday in the following states in 2016: Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand Uttar Pradesh.

What is Maha Shivarati?

Shivaratri means the "great night of Shiva". Shivaratri is the night when Shiva is said to have performed the Tandava Nritya, or the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction.

Shivaratri is also when Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva married again.

The festival is principally celebrated by offerings of Bael leaves to Lord Shiva, all-day fasting and an all-night-long vigil.

Shiva is worshiped in the form of a lingam - a pillar often placed on a receptacle that represents female creative energy. Together it represents the union of organs, and the totality of creation.

Flowers, incense and other offerings are made, while all through the day the devotees, chant the sacred Panchakshara mantra dedicated to Lord "Om Namah Shivaya".

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