Maha Shivratri in India in 2024

Maha Shivratri in India in 2024
  How long until Maha Shivratri?
Maha Shivratri
  Dates of Maha Shivratri in India
2024 Mar 8
Andhra PradeshFri, Mar 8Regional Holiday
BiharFri, Mar 8Regional Holiday
ChandigarhFri, Mar 8Regional Holiday
ChhattisgarhFri, Mar 8Regional Holiday
GujaratFri, Mar 8Regional Holiday
HaryanaFri, Mar 8Regional Holiday
Himachal PradeshFri, Mar 8Regional Holiday
Jammu and KashmirFri, Mar 8Regional Holiday
JharkhandFri, Mar 8Regional Holiday
KarnatakaFri, Mar 8Regional Holiday
KeralaFri, Mar 8Regional Holiday
Madhya PradeshFri, Mar 8Regional Holiday
MaharashtraFri, Mar 8Regional Holiday
OdishaFri, Mar 8Regional Holiday
PunjabFri, Mar 8Regional Holiday
RajasthanFri, Mar 8Regional Holiday
TelanganaFri, Mar 8Regional Holiday
TripuraFri, Mar 8Regional Holiday
Uttar PradeshFri, Mar 8Regional Holiday
UttarakhandFri, Mar 8Regional Holiday
2023 Feb 18
Andhra PradeshSat, Feb 18Regional Holiday
ChandigarhSat, Feb 18Regional Holiday
ChhattisgarhSat, Feb 18Regional Holiday
GoaSat, Feb 18Regional Holiday
GujaratSat, Feb 18Regional Holiday
HaryanaSat, Feb 18Regional Holiday
Himachal PradeshSat, Feb 18Regional Holiday
Jammu and KashmirSat, Feb 18Regional Holiday
JharkhandSat, Feb 18Regional Holiday
KarnatakaSat, Feb 18Regional Holiday
KeralaSat, Feb 18Regional Holiday
Madhya PradeshSat, Feb 18Regional Holiday
MaharashtraSat, Feb 18Regional Holiday
OdishaSat, Feb 18Regional Holiday
PunjabSat, Feb 18Regional Holiday
RajasthanSat, Feb 18Regional Holiday
TelanganaSat, Feb 18Regional Holiday
TripuraSat, Feb 18Regional Holiday
Uttar PradeshSat, Feb 18Regional Holiday
UttarakhandSat, Feb 18Regional Holiday
2022 Mar 1
Andhra PradeshTue, Mar 1Regional Holiday
ChandigarhTue, Mar 1Regional Holiday
ChhattisgarhTue, Mar 1Regional Holiday
DelhiTue, Mar 1Regional Holiday
GoaTue, Mar 1Regional Holiday
GujaratTue, Mar 1Regional Holiday
HaryanaTue, Mar 1Regional Holiday
Himachal PradeshTue, Mar 1Regional Holiday
Jammu and KashmirTue, Mar 1Regional Holiday
JharkhandTue, Mar 1Regional Holiday
KarnatakaTue, Mar 1Regional Holiday
KeralaTue, Mar 1Regional Holiday
Madhya PradeshTue, Mar 1Regional Holiday
MaharashtraTue, Mar 1Regional Holiday
OdishaTue, Mar 1Regional Holiday
PunjabTue, Mar 1Regional Holiday
RajasthanTue, Mar 1Regional Holiday
TelanganaTue, Mar 1Regional Holiday
TripuraTue, Mar 1Regional Holiday
Uttar PradeshTue, Mar 1Regional Holiday
UttarakhandTue, Mar 1Regional Holiday
2021 Mar 11
Andhra PradeshThu, Mar 11Regional Holiday
BiharThu, Mar 11Regional Holiday
ChhattisgarhThu, Mar 11Regional Holiday
GujaratThu, Mar 11Regional Holiday
HaryanaThu, Mar 11Regional Holiday
Himachal PradeshThu, Mar 11Regional Holiday
Jammu and KashmirThu, Mar 11Regional Holiday
JharkhandThu, Mar 11Regional Holiday
KarnatakaThu, Mar 11Regional Holiday
KeralaThu, Mar 11Regional Holiday
Madhya PradeshThu, Mar 11Regional Holiday
MaharashtraThu, Mar 11Regional Holiday
OdishaThu, Mar 11Regional Holiday
PunjabThu, Mar 11Regional Holiday
RajasthanThu, Mar 11Regional Holiday
TelanganaThu, Mar 11Regional Holiday
TripuraThu, Mar 11Regional Holiday
Uttar PradeshThu, Mar 11Regional Holiday
UttarakhandThu, Mar 11Regional Holiday
2020 Feb 21
Andhra PradeshFri, Feb 21Regional Holiday
BiharFri, Feb 21Regional Holiday
ChandigarhFri, Feb 21Regional Holiday
ChhattisgarhFri, Feb 21Regional Holiday
GoaFri, Feb 21Regional Holiday
GujaratFri, Feb 21Regional Holiday
HaryanaFri, Feb 21Regional Holiday
Himachal PradeshFri, Feb 21Regional Holiday
Jammu and KashmirFri, Feb 21Regional Holiday
JharkhandFri, Feb 21Regional Holiday
KarnatakaFri, Feb 21Regional Holiday
KeralaFri, Feb 21Regional Holiday
Madhya PradeshFri, Feb 21Regional Holiday
MaharashtraFri, Feb 21Regional Holiday
OdishaFri, Feb 21Regional Holiday
PunjabFri, Feb 21Regional Holiday
RajasthanFri, Feb 21Regional Holiday
TelanganaFri, Feb 21Regional Holiday
TripuraFri, Feb 21Regional Holiday
Uttar PradeshFri, Feb 21Regional Holiday
UttarakhandFri, Feb 21Regional Holiday
West BengalFri, Feb 21Regional Holiday

According to Hindu mythology, Shivaratri symbolizes the wedding day of Lord Shiva.

  Maha Shivratri in other countries
Maha Shivratri internationally
  Which regions observe Maha Shivratri in 2024?
National Holiday Regional Holiday Not a public holiday Govt Holiday

When is Maha Shivratri?

Maha Shivaratri is a famous Hindu festival celebrated each year in reverence of Lord Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction and regeneration.

A Shivaratri is celebrated on the 13th night and 14th day of every lunar month. The Shivaratri in the month of Falgun (Phalguna) - the last month of Hindu calendar - is Maha Shivaratri which means "the Great Night of Shiva". It takes place just before the arrival of Spring, usually in February or March in the Western calendar.

It is celebrated across India and is a holiday in most states and it is also a public holiday in Mauritius and Nepal.

What is Maha Shivratri?

The festival marks the end of winter and the arrival of summer and is a major observation in Hinduism. It is very significant to the Shaivism tradition of Hinduism, which worships Shiva as its primary deity.

The Maha Shivaratri is mentioned in several Puranas (Hindu Literature) and presents different versions of this festival and referencing the icons of Shiva.

Maha Shivaratri is the night when Shiva is said to have performed the Tandava Nritya, or the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction. According to believers, this saved the world from destruction. Hindu scholars say Maha Shivaratri was the day when Shiva drank poisonous negativity to protect the world.

Maha Shivratri is observed to mark a remembrance of 'overcoming darkness and ignorance' in life and the world. Unlike most festivals, is celebrated at night and is a solemn event.

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

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

On Maha Shivratri, "Om Namah Shivaya", the sacred mantra of Shiva, is chanted through the day in Shiva temples. Special Puja is held at homes and temples.

Due to the link to Shiva’s "heavenly dance", many Hindu’s gather together for lively dance festivals some of which can be seen for miles.

The festival is international and is celebrated around the world.

The Lingam

Shiva is worshiped in the form of a lingam ( Sanskrit for "sign" or "distinguishing symbol") - a pillar often placed on a receptacle that represents female creative energy. Together it represents the union of organs and the totality of creation. The use of the lingam as a symbol for Shiva was introduced after the Aryan immigration into India, having been taken from aboriginal worship.

According to Hindu legend, Brahma and Vishnu were busy arguing over which among the three was the most powerful god. On hearing this, Shiva manifested in the form of a huge, flaming lingam. It was agreed with Brahma and Vishnu that whoever was first to find the end of the blazing column of fire would be considered the greatest of the Hindu gods. Vishnu, in the form of a boar, started looking for the bottom of the lingam, while Brahma, in the form of a swan, started looking for the top. After years of searching, neither had found an end, and they both had to acknowledge Shiva as the most powerful.

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".

Bel Tree

It is believed that Lord Shiva is fond of the Bel tree, also known as the bilwa or bilva tree, and its leaves and fruit still play a main role in his worship.

Huge gatherings take place in temples all over India, though the biggest celebration is held in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, where Lord Shiva is believed to have stayed. Special celebrations are held at Shiva shrines in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.

All castes (divisions) of Hindu society participate in the worship of Shiva. The ceremonies surrounding Shivratri are particularly popular with Hindu women, especially those wishing to become pregnant.

Maha Shivaratri Celebrations in India

In India, government offices and educational institutes will be shut on Maha Shivratri.

In India, celebrations span the breadth of the land, with huge celebrations at ancient temples such as Annamalaiyar in Tamil Nadu, the Mahakaleshwar Mandir in Madhya Pradesh, Umananda Temple in Assam, Bhavnath Talethi in Gujarat, Mallikarjuna Temple in Andhra Pradesh to name a few.

In Kashmir, the historic seat of Shaivism, MahaShivratri is known locally as “Herath” from a story that showcases the power of devotion to overcome persecution.  Local tradition was to worship a Shivalinga carved from snow, but in the 18th century, the then Afghan Governor banned celebrations during the month of Magha and ordered it postponed to summer. Miraculously that year, it snowed in the summer, leading to much shock or “hairat”, the Persian word for shock.

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